The Dutch prime minister says the government aims to have the first bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 back in the Netherlands tomorrow. He says a plane is ready to take the first remains out of the Ukrainian. (July 22)
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The remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in territory held by the Ukrainian government on Tuesday on their way to the Netherlands.
After a 17-hour journey from the town of Torez in rebel territory, the train carrying the bodies pulled into a station in Kharkiv, a government-controlled city where Ukrainian authorities have set up their crash investigation center.
This, after delays and haphazard treatment of the bodies that put pressure on European foreign ministers meeting in Brussels to impose tougher economic sanctions on Russia.
The crash site itself, in farmland held by the pro-Russian separatists whom the West accuses of shooting down the plane, remained unsecured five days after the disaster _ another source of frustration for officials around the world eager to establish the facts of the case.
The train gave a low-pitched blast from its horn as the grey corrugated refrigerator cars slowly rolled through weed-choked tracks onto the grounds of a factory where the bodies were being received.
Government spokesman Oleksander Kharchenko said Ukraine "will do our best" to send the bodies to the Netherlands on Tuesday.
Of the 298 people who died aboard the Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight, 193 were Dutch citizens.