UK & World News

  • 21 July 2014, 18:56

MH17 Bodies Leave In Train On Way To Holland

A train carrying the bodies of passengers killed when a Malaysian airliner was shot down has left the station in Ukraine where it was being guarded by armed separatists.

The remains of 282 victims from the crash site were in refrigerated wagonsfilmed leaving Torez, in eastern Ukraine.

Malaysian Prime Minister NajibRazaksaid they will be taken to the city of Kharkiv, where they will be handed over to Dutch officials before being flown to the Netherlands in a Hercules military transport plane.

He said he had spoken directly to rebel leader Alexander Borodai, the self-proclaimed prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, who he saidwas "in command of the region where the tragedy occurred".

Mr Razak said Mr Borodai had told him the two black boxes flight data recorders from the plane would be handed over to a Malaysian team in Donetsk.

It comes after Ukraine's deputy prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, claimed pro-Russian rebels had tampered with the black box devices.

Mr Groysman told a news conference: "There is information that the recorders were in their hands all these days and they did certain things to them."

Asked whether he thought the rebels had tampered with the recorders, MrGroysman concurred.

It comes after his government said the trains were being blocked by "terrorists".

The wagons were reportedly surrounded by 50 insurgents and there had been conflicting reports about whether the refrigeration systems on the trains were working.

Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for shooting down the plane andUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko denied that one of his country's warplane was flying near the aircraft before it crashed.

Rescuers have found 272 of the 298 victims and 66 fragments of bodies in the area where the plane hit the ground, but it is feared some of the bodies were incinerated without a trace in the crash.

Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said: "We're looking at the field where the engines have come down.

"This was the area which was exposed to the most intense heat. We do not see any bodies here. It appears that some have been vaporised."

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