Forensic experts in the Netherlands have this week identified two more victims of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, leaving only four Dutch victims whose remains have not yet been identified, the Dutch government said on Friday, nearly five months after the crash.
The Dutch Justice and Security Ministry said the remains of two additional victims had been identified this week, including one Dutch national and one who had a foreign nationality. Relatives of both victims have already been notified, but the nationality of the foreigner was not disclosed in line with a previous agreement between governments.
In total, forensic experts have now identified 294 victims from the remains recovered at the crash site, but no trace has been found so far of the four remaining Dutch nationals.
“It is possible that information about the four who are missing will become available from the body parts which are in Hilversum,” the ministry said, referring to the military barracks near Amsterdam where experts are working to identify the remains. “If and when this information becomes available cannot be said at this time. The media will be informed when new identification information becomes available.”
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed near the city of Torez in eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew in the world’s deadliest aviation disaster since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. It is believed that the aircraft was downed by a surface-to-air missile which was fired from separatist-controlled territory, but separatists there have denied being responsible.
A preliminary report by the Dutch Safety Board said that puncture holes in the aircraft’s wreckage suggest that small objects penetrated the aircraft in both the cockpit and forward sections. Holes were also found on the cockpit floor. Through analysis, the damage to the body of the aircraft is consistent with “high-energy objects” piercing the aircraft from the outside, they said.
Source: Wire Update