On a sombre day of national mourning, the first bodies from the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 were transported to a military base in the Netherlands.
Two military planes — one Dutch, oneAustralian — carrying the first 40 coffins landed in Eindhoven where King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima, and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, along with some family members of the victims, waited on the tarmac. Dutch servicemen solemnly entered the aircrafts as 40 hearses lined up around them.
One by one, the men transferred the wooden coffins from the plane to the waiting hearses as relatives looked on. A minute’s silence was held before the hearses prepared to take the remains to the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks for identification.
The medical military base on the outskirts on Hilversum in the Netherlands will be the penultimate stop for the victims of MH17, before their bodies are returned to their families.
They will be formally identified as part of the first step of a major international investigation.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that process for identifying some of the victims could be relatively quick, but for others the process could takes weeks or months in other cases. The investigation is being led by the Dutch government, the United Nations, and the International Civil Aviation Organization. CCTV correspondent Dan Whitehead reports.