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)

Latest Headlines

in Local

Scientists to see if Forecast Calls for Lobsters

Fresh
LOBSTERS2

Scientists will begin aiding fishermen next year by issuing weekly forecasts about lobster migration.

in Local

6,500 Mainers to Lose Food Stamps

Fresh
governorlepage

Maine Gov. Paul LePage's administration says more than 6,000 Maine residents are about to lose their food stamp benefits.

in Local

Maine Woman Struck, Killed By Vehicle

GENERIC AMBULANCE

GLENBURN, Maine (AP) - Police say a Glenburn woman crossing the street to get her mail has been struck and killed by a passing vehicle.

in Local

Maine Man Pleads Guilty In Bleach Attack

Cortright

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine man who threw bleach in the face of a 60-year-old woman has pleaded guilty.

in Entertainment, Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Colbert’s star-studded farewell to ‘Report’

21-overlay4

Stephen Colbert bid farewell with the help of scores of celebrities in a rousing sendoff to the tune of "We'll Meet Again."

Tweets

  • 2h
  • 2h
  • 3h
  • 3h
  • 3h
  • 3h
  • 3h