UK & World News

  • 22 July 2014, 22:30

MH17 Plane Crash: Around 80 Bodies 'Missing'

Dutch investigators say the remains of only 200 people from flight MH17, in addition to some body parts, have been delivered to forensic teams.

Some 298 people, the majority of them from the Netherlands, were on board the flight.

"At this moment we are talking about 200, that is for sure, 200 victims - which means there are probably remains left in the area where this disaster took place," said Jaan Tunder, from the Dutch forensics team.

OSCE observers at the crash scene on Tuesday confirmed there were still unrecovered human remains and "smaller body parts".

An Interpol team is currently helping examine remains in the first stages of what it calls DVI (Disaster Victim Identification), after the victims recovered so far were transported overnight to the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

Pro-Russian separatists had said the remains of 282 people would be on board the refrigerated train.

The bodies will be flown to the Netherlands on Wednesday where full identification is to take place.

Dozens of police scientists are on standby to identify the remains and return them to families, but the Dutch prime minister has warned the process could take months.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that British experts based at Farnborough will examine data from the black boxes of flight MH17.

David Cameron confirmed the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) would take the lead in analysing the crucial black box data.

He tweeted: "We've agreed Dutch request for air accident investigators at Farnborough to retrieve data from #MH17 black boxes for international analysis."

Separatists handed over the black boxes as EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions on more Russian officials in the wake of the crash.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he wanted President Putin's "cronies" to bear the brunt of the new measures, likely to be visa bans and asset freezes.

The number of Russian officials on the list has not yet been revealed.

Moscow is accused of arming the pro-Russian rebels who are suspected of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines plane.

A senior US intelligence official confirmed evidence suggests the Russian regime was not directly involved, but that it "created the conditions" for the plane to be shot down by mistake.

The Russians are still supplying the separatists with tanks and rocket launchers - even after the disaster, claimed the source.

EU ministers said "further significant restrictive measures" would be taken against Russia's defence, energy and financial sectors if it did not comply with a list of demands.

It called on Russia to use its influence over the armed separatists to secure "full, immediate, safe and secure" access to the crash site, and to stop the flow of weapons to the rebels.

Malaysian investigators are now at the scene of the crash, which is still strewn with wreckage and possessions.

Sky News Chief Correspondent Stuart Ramsay said it was "noticeably calmer" on Tuesday as investigators began documenting the devastation, making notes and photographing evidence.