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Remains of at least 21 MH17 victims to arrive in Malaysia on Friday

Published on Aug 18, 2014 8:36 AM
Men carry a coffin containing human remains collected at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine, upon its arrival on Aug 4, 2014 at the Eindhoven Airport, the Netherlands. -- PHOTO: AFP

THE HAGUE (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The remains of at least 21 MH17 victims will be flown back to Malaysia from Amsterdam, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

He said the bodies, 18 in caskets and three cremated, would be placed on a flight which would depart on Thursday afternoon from Schipol International Airport.

"The total number of bodies that will arrive home this Friday will exceed the projected 16," he said in a statement on Sunday.

The information was made known after a briefing with the Malaysian ambassador to Netherlands Datuk Dr Fauziah Mohamad Taib and Malaysia Airlines operations service department's vice-president Datuk Bahrain Mohd Yatim.

Dr Wee said the Government was putting much effort in bringing back more of the victims who were on board Flight MH17.

"We are working hard to obtain the greenlight for one more body to be included in the first flight."

He also noted that he would meet with the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to discuss the documentation.

"We are hopeful that the documentation for the handling of the other Malaysian victims by the Dutch authorities would proceed smoothly," he said.

The remains of two more Malaysian victims had been identified by authorities in Netherlands, bringing the total number of Malaysian victims identified to 26.

"This latest development was relayed by the Dutch government to the Malaysian embassy in the Netherlands as well as MAS.

"As for sending off for the bodies from the funeral home to the airport on Thursday, the process will be done in a low-key manner.

"The next-of-kin of the victims will depart on an earlier flight and arrive in Kuala Lumpur about two hours earlier.