KHARKIV, Ukraine (AFP) – The last remains of the victims from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 might never be fully recovered, the Dutch foreign minister said Saturday, as five more coffins were flown out of Ukraine.
“We cannot say at this moment in any certain way… at what moment and even if we can recover the last nine (victims), but we will do everything we can in cooperation with authorities here to make that happen and that work is still possible to do,” Foreign Minister Bert Koenders told journalists after a ceremony at Kharkiv airport. Koenders insisted investigators still hoped to recover the wreckage of the downed jet but could not say when that would be as the security situation remains volatile.
The Boeing passenger plane was blown out of the sky on July 17 over rebel-held territory in east Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
So far 289 victims had been identified among body parts recovered from the site by a team led by investigators from The Netherlands, which lost 193 people in the tragedy.