MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – Wednesday, July 23, was declared a national day of mourning in the Netherlands for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which crashed last week in eastern Ukraine, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Tuesday.
The first bodies of the crash victims are scheduled to arrive in the Netherlands on Wednesday, Rutte said, quoted by Agence France Presse.
The identification of the remains may take several weeks and even months, the prime minister added.
Earlier in the day, the Malaysian Transport Ministry confirmed that the remains of those who perished in the deadly airliner crash had been transfered to the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Interpol reported that its team started the victims’ identification process.
Once the preliminary examinations are completed, the victims will be transported to the Netherlands where the full identification process will be carried out.
On July 17, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine, near the city of Donetsk. All 298 people on board died, including at least 192 Dutch passengers.
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.