UK & World News

  • 20 July 2014, 8:01

Dutch Fury As MH17 Bodies 'Dragged Around'

The Netherlands has asked for help bringing home the bodies of the 192 Dutch nationals killed when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine.

Dutch Foreign MinisterFrans Timmermans told Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko that his country was "angry" and "furious" by reports of bodies being dragged around the site in Grabovo, Donetsk.

"We are already shocked by the news we got today of bodies being dragged around, of the site not being treated properly," he said.

Ukrainian officials accused pro-Russian separatists of taking bodies from the scene of the crash before emergency services personnel began officially collecting them on Saturday.

However, Sky's Chief Correspondent Stuart Ramsay, at the scene, said body parts were now officially being removed by Ukraine emergency ministry staff.

The Netherlands is marking a national day of mourningand at Schiphol Airport, where flight MH17 took off on Thursday afternoon, the families of those on board and other well-wishers have been laying flowers and paying tribute.

For now, the relatives have nowhere else to go and, although it has been suggested they could be flown out to the crash site, Malaysia Airlines commercial director Hugh Dunleavy told Sky News it was unlikely as it is not possible to guarantee them safe passage.

The front page of one of the Dutch newspapers in the wake of the downing of the Malaysia Airlines jet shows a picture of pro-Russian fighters with the headline: "Murderers!"

And a headline in another newspaper reads: "Everybody knows somebody".

One mourner who arrived at the airport to pay her respects underlined that fact, telling Sky News: "It's unfair what's happened, these people don't deserve it.

"Close family? No, but my cousin, his friend at school, his family were all on board the plane."

Churches have opened books of condolences for those who have died, and services have been held across the country.

As the relatives come to terms with their loss, the process of formally identifying the dead continues.

Forensic teams are fanning out across the country to collect material, including DNA samples, that will help positively identify the remains.

Police said 40 pairs of detectives from the National Forensic Investigations Team would be visiting relatives in the coming days.

Mr Timmermans said the Netherlands would not stop until those responsible for the deaths of so many citizens were brought to justice.

"Once we have the proof, we will not stop before the people are brought to justice," he said.

"Not just the people who pulled the trigger but also those who made it possible. I think the international community needs to step up its efforts in this respect."

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