MH17 wreckage arrives in Netherlands

9th December 2014, Comments 0 comments

A convoy carrying wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrived in the Netherlands on Tuesday on its way to a Dutch air force base where the doomed plane will be reconstructed.

Dutch national broadcaster NOS showed eight trucks carrying wreckage crossing the border with Germany overnight, before heading to a southern air base after the morning rush hour and under police escort.

The convoy of lorries carrying pieces of wreckage from Ukraine is due to arrive at the Gilze-Rijen airbase in the south of the country at around 1300 GMT, the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) said.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was blown out of the sky on July 17 over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, two-thirds of them Dutch.

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

Dutch authorities are charged with establishing exactly what brought the plane down and are reconstructing part of the aircraft as part of their probe.

The convoy of trucks left Ukraine last week and will on Tuesday drive past next of kin who wish to see the wreckage arrive at the base, the OVV said on Monday.

"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.

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

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

A preliminary report in September said that 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.

© 2014 AFP

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