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Interpol Begins Identifying MH17 Crash Victims

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Interpol’s Incident Response Team (IRT) has started the disaster victim identification (DVI) process following the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, the international police agency said Tuesday.

MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) - Interpol’s Incident Response Team (IRT) has started the disaster victim identification (DVI) process following the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, the international police agency said Tuesday.

"The remains of victims recovered so far were labelled and numbered before being transported in refrigerated freight wagons from Donetsk to the designated center of operations in Kharkiv where the Interpol IRT, along with other international DVI teams in place, will carry out preliminary examinations," Interpol said in statement posted on its website.

According to the statement, "once the preliminary examinations are completed, it is expected that the victims will be transported to the Netherlands where the full DVI process will be carried out in accordance with Interpol standards."

Earlier on Tuesday, the Malaysian Transport Ministry confirmed that the remains of those who perished in the deadly airliner crash in eastern Ukraine had been brought to the city of Kharkiv in the government-controlled territory so that experts could conduct DNA tests.

It said a team of Malaysian experts would assist in the “tagging and transfer of bodies to the plane” bound for the Netherlands.

According to the transport authority, the forensics team and “relevant support” teams in Kharkiv “will now have to undergo a process that will take a few hours prior to the remains being flown off to Amsterdam.”

Bodies packed in body bags and loaded into refrigerated cars were taken by train first to Donetsk and then to Kharkiv, from whence they are to be airlifted to Amsterdam on board a Dutch C130 Hercules. In the Netherlands the 282 bodies and body fragments will be inspected by local forensic experts, before being flown back to Malaysia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak worked through a Trilateral Contact Group — consisting of Ukrainian and Russian senior representatives, and the OSCE Chairperson-in Office — to approach local self-defense forces.

Razak said on Monday Ukrainian militia had given him guarantees of full and unfettered access to the crash site for independent investigators. On Tuesday, independence supporters also handed over two flight data recorders to Malaysians after they insisted the black boxes should never fall into the hands of the Ukrainian government.

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 airliner en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near Donetsk on July 17. Ukrainian authorities place the blame for the crash on independence supporters, while the latter maintain they do not have the means to shoot down a plane flying at 32,000 feet.

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