Up to 12 hours for MH17 bodies to reach Kharkiv: Dutch PM
A train carrying bodies from flight MH17 could take 10-12 hours to reach Ukrainian city Kharkiv after passing through rebel-held territory, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Monday.
Rutte said the train, which finally left Torez station near the crash site of the Malaysia Airways 777 at around 1600 GMT on Monday, would travel through separatist-controlled Donetsk to Kharkiv, where the Dutch coordination centre is to receive all 298 victims.
Rutte said there were around 200 bodies on the train, but they needed to be counted in Kharkiv.
"Donetsk is still under rebel control and the intention is for the train to go from Donetsk to Kharkiv," Rutte said.
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said the journey "could take 10 to 12 hours," Rutte said.
Amid reports of rebels disrespecting the bodies, including of 193 Dutch, Rutte said that "the way the victims bodies were handled appears to have been more careful than we thought".
The bodies will in Kharkiv be taken from the train and after preliminary examination be put on a plane to the Netherlands, which is charged with their identification, Rutte said.
© 2014 AFP