MH17 Bodies ID delays due to rotting corpses

Published: Thursday July 24, 2014 MYT 8:03:00 PM
Updated: Thursday July 24, 2014 MYT 8:09:22 PM

MH17: Identification process cause of delay in sending bodies home

KIEV: The processes to go through to identify the bodies from the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash was a reason for the delay in sending the remains home.

Malaysian Police Disaster Victims Identification (DVI) commander ACP Hussein Omar Khan said the Malaysian team in Kharkiv also found different human body parts, such as legs and arms, together with the bodies in body bags.

He said that due to the decaying condition of the bodies, the Netherlands authority had to take DNA samples from the bones of the victims.

“It is time consuming and the experts will also use the dental record and other methods to verify the victims’ identity.

“These may take up two or three weeks to complete. So it is impossible that the identification can be completed before Aidilfitri,” said Hussein, who is involved in the process of scanning and tagging of the MH17 victims’ bodies at Kharkiv.

Flight MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border on Thursday, with 298 people on board.

National Security Council principal assistant secretary Lt Col Mohd Sakri Hussain said there were cases of human body parts that were put with other bodies in one body bag to make the body look “complete.”

“So there is complication to verify which body parts belong to the right victims and this is the challenge that requires more time for Netherlands,” he said.

Furthermore the number of the bodies were huge, said Mohd Sakri.

A total of 282 bodies and 87 body parts had arrived in Kharkiv, about 500 km from Ukraine capital, Kiev on Monday.

For the past three days, some of the victim bodies had been scanned for any booby traps and tagged in Kiev before the bodies were flown to Netherlands for DVI before being released to the loved ones.

The scanning and tagging process in Kharkiv are expected to finish this Friday. – Bernama

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