Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 shot down from the sky, July 22, 08:50am. Wednesday, 23rd July 2014 Source : Malaysia Airlines & external sources
We are relieved that the train has safely arrived at Kharkiv about 11am local time, this is an important milestone in relation to the MH17 tragedy, however we still need to get to the truth of what has happened and we hope for the investigators to commence their work at the crash site to determine this.
Malaysia sent 18 DVI personnel to Kharkiv to assist in the tagging and transfer of bodies to the plane, I have been briefed that the forensics team and relevant support teams will now have to undergo a process that will take a few hours prior to the remains being flown off to Amsterdam.
Families are suffering across the world and once the remains are with the respective families, I am sure they will demand for justice to be served on those who have caused this horrific crime.
In recent days, we have been working behind the scenes to establish contact with those in charge of the MH17 crash site;
That contact has now been made. Under difficult and fluid circumstances, we have been discussing the problems that have occupied us all: securing vital evidence from the aircraft, launching an independent investigation, and above all recovering the remains of those who lost their lives.
Tonight, we have established the basis of an agreement to do just that.
Earlier this evening I spoke to Alexander Borodai, who is in command of the region where the tragedy occurred. We have agreed the following:
Firstly, the remains of 282 people, currently in Torez, will be moved by train to Kharkiv, where they will be handed over to representatives from the Netherlands. The train will depart this evening Ukraine time, and will be accompanied by six Malaysian members of the recovery team. The remains will then be flown to Amsterdam on board a Dutch C130 Hercules, together with the Malaysian team. Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens will then be flown home to Malaysia.
Secondly, at approximately 9pm tonight Ukraine time, the two black boxes will be handed over to a Malaysian team in Donetsk, who will take custody of them.
Thirdly, independent international investigators will be guaranteed safe access to the crash site to begin a full investigation of the incident.
I must stress that although agreement has been reached, there remain a number of steps required before it is completed.
There is work still to be done, work which relies on continued communication in good faith. Mr Borodai and his people have so far given their co-operation.
I ask that all parties continue to work together to ensure that this agreement is honoured; that the remains of our people are returned, that the black box is handed over, and that the international team is granted full access to the site.
Only then can the investigation into MH17 truly begin; only then can the victims be afforded the respect they deserve. We need to know what caused the plane to crash, and who was responsible for it, so that justice may be done.
In recent days, there were times I wanted to give greater voice to the anger and grief that the Malaysian people feel. And that I feel. But sometimes, we must work quietly in the service of a better outcome.
I understand that for the families, nothing can undo this damage. The lives taken cannot be given back; the dignity lost cannot be regained.
My heart reaches out to those whose loved ones were lost on MH17. We hope and pray that the agreement reached tonight helps bring them a clear step towards closure.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur went down in eastern Ukraine, the company confirms that the aircraft did not make a distress call.
With immediate effect, all European flights operated by Malaysia Airlines will be taking alternative routes avoiding the usual route.
The usual flight route was earlier declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.
As opposed to the earlier statement, the flight was carrying a total number of 298 people – comprising 283 passengers including three infants of various nationalities and 15 crew of Malaysian nationality. Some of the nationalities of the passengers are yet to be determined.
List of number of passengers and crew according to nationality are as follows:
Malaysia Airlines is in the process of notifying the next-of-kin of the passengers and crew.
Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support to provide all possible care to the next-of-kin. Malaysia Airlines is deploying its “Go Team” to Amsterdam with a group of caregivers and volunteers to assist the family members of the passengers.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members. The airline will provide regular updates on the situation. Families of passengers and crew may contact +603 7884 1234 (Malaysia) or +31703487770(Netherlands). For media queries, kindly contact +603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276.
The flightpath of Malaysia Airlines MH17. Photo / Source FlightAware - AP
Malaysia Airlines tweeted on July 17th at 08:36AM that it lost contact with one of its flights as it was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukrainian airspace.
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