MH17 wreckage arrives at Dutch base for reconstruction

MH17 wreckage arrives at Dutch base for reconstruction
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.

Netherlands - A convoy carrying wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrived at a Dutch airbase on Tuesday where it will be reconstructed as part of a probe into the shooting down of the doomed plane.

Around 50 relatives of some of the 298 people killed when the plane was blown out of the sky over war-torn Ukraine in July were allowed into the Gilze-Rijen base for the arrival, said Sara Vernooij of the Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the probe into the crash.

The eight-truck convoy began its long journey from Ukraine last week, crossing into The Netherlands from Germany early Tuesday, travelling under police escort to the airbase in the southern Netherlands.

Two-thirds of those killed when the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down on July 17 over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine were Dutch.

Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of supplying pro-Kremlin insurgents with the missile that downed the jet, but Moscow and the separatists deny responsibility and have instead pointed the finger at Kiev.

Dutch authorities are reconstructing part of the aircraft as they seek to establish exactly what brought the plane down.

The wreckage will be photographed, scanned and categorised before being reconstructed in a hangar.

The reconstruction will be closed to the public, although next of kin will be allowed to view it if they wish.

A preliminary report in September said the plane "broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside." A Dutch-led investigation team has so far identified 292 of the dead, but six victims remained unidentified as recovery work at the crash site shut down for the winter.

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