News

Plane with first coffins of MH17 victims leaves Ukraine

Plane with first coffins of MH17 victims leaves Ukraine

MH17:People carry a coffin containing the remains of one of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine before loading it on a transport plane heading towards the Netherlands at Kharkiv airport July 23. Photo: Reuters

KHARKIV Ukraine (Reuters) – A Dutch air force transport plane carrying the first 16 coffins with the remains of victims of the downed Malaysian airliner took off on Wednesday from an airport in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv for the Netherlands.

Honorary guards placed wooden coffins on the plane after a short and somber ceremony held on the tarmac before it took off.

All 298 people on board the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 perished when it was brought down last Thursday over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev is struggling to quell a pro-Russian separatist rebellion.

PHOTOS: Remembering the victims of MH17

Many of the victims were Dutch and the Netherlands will carry out their identification.

At the ceremony, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said the downing of the plane was an “inhumane terrorist act” carried out with help from Russia.

Kiev will do everything in its power to bring those guilty to justice, he added.

A Canadian military transport plane is due to leave Kharkiv with 24 more coffins later on Wednesday.

Russia has blamed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for the crash because he refused to extend a ceasefire with the separatist fighters. Moscow denies supporting the separatists.

U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday Washington believed pro-Russian separatists probably shot the plane down “by mistake,” not realizing it was a civilian passenger flight.

(Reporting by Sergei Karazy,; Writing by Gabriela Baczynska,; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)

Recent Headlines

1 hour ago in Entertainment

‘The Fast and the Furious’ racing back to theaters for anniversary run

Fresh
11-overlay-13

The first film in the highly-popular franchise was released on June 22, 2001 and will hit theaters again next month for a limited nationwide run.

1 hour ago in Entertainment

Dustin Diamond back in jail in Wisconsin

Fresh
dustindiamond

The former "Saved by the Bell" star reportedly violated the terms of his parole.

1 hour ago in Entertainment

WATCH: ‘Game of Thrones’ creators apologize

Fresh
24-overlay-9

They're not sorry for killing off Hodor ... they're sorry for the aftermath.

2 hours ago in Entertainment

Amber Heard files for divorce from Johnny Depp

Fresh
deppheardREUTERS

Actress Amber Heard has filed for divorce from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star after just 15 months of marriage.

2 hours ago in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: An honest trailer for ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’

Updated
16-overlay-9

Before you see "X-Men: Apocalypse," relive the '90s cartoon that you still remember - and the theme song that you can't get out of your head.