MH17: Dutch authorities to allow victims' next-of-kin to view arrival of wreckage

MH17: Dutch authorities to allow victims' next-of-kin to view arrival of wreckage
Members of the Dutch export team watch as parts of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 are removed and loaded on a truck at the crash site near the village of Grabove in eastern Ukraine, on November 16 2014.

PETALING JAYA - Dutch authorities will allow family members of MH17 victims to observe the arrival of the first batch of plane debris in the Netherlands.

The Dutch Safety Board, in a statement on its website Saturday, said the first shipment of wreckage from the plane was set to arrive next week, before its components were unloaded, photographed, scanned and categorised as per procedure.

It said the opportunity for viewing would be scheduled for some time next year because of the urgent need to launch the investigation, but invited the next-of-kin to witness the arrival of the first wreckage, which will be transported to a Dutch air force base.

"The arrival of the wreckage at the air force base will not be of a ceremonial character and those attending will not be permitted to be present during the opening or unloading of the trucks," it said, adding that the exact date and time of arrival of the transport would be made known later.

The transport of the first wreckage components comprises several sealed trucks and two covered low-loaders.

Portions of the wreckage will subsequently be reconstructed in a designated hangar, with access to facilities restricted to investigators only during that period.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17 when it was shot down, allegedly by a surface-to-air missile while flying over the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border.

All 298 passengers and crewmembers aboard were killed.

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