Home World Asia News MH17: Remains of 20 Malaysian victims returned to Kuala Lumpur

MH17: Remains of 20 Malaysian victims returned to Kuala Lumpur


The bodies of 20 Malaysian victims of Flight MH17 that crashed in Ukraine last month have arrived in Kuala Lumpur.

A specially chartered plane took off from Amsterdam and landed around 10:00 local time.

National flags are flying at half-mast for the day of mourning.

Flight MH17 is believed to have been shot down by a missile fired by pro-Russian rebels. They deny the claim.

All 298 passengers and crew on board the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 died on July 17.

From office workers to train drivers, many among the nation of 30 million observed a minute’s silence as white hearses drove the remains from the airport to private funerals in various provinces.

Malaysia’s public transportation, including the national rail system and Kuala Lumpur’s monorail, paused during the minute of silence.

PM Najib Razak, who turned his Twitter and Facebook pages black, wrote a condolence message that was widely shared.

The bodies of 20 Malaysian victims of Flight MH17 that crashed in Ukraine last month have arrived in Kuala Lumpur

The bodies of 20 Malaysian victims of Flight MH17 that crashed in Ukraine last month have arrived in Kuala Lumpur (photo Getty Images)

“Last month, 43 Malaysian lives were taken over eastern Ukraine. Today we mourn the loss of our people. Today, we begin to bring them home.”

“Our thoughts and our prayers are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives. Today we stand with you, united as one.”

Transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said in a statement that the government will “redouble” efforts to bring home the remaining victims.

Malaysia Airlines is organizing a public prayer session and a spokesman also expressed the company’s condolences.

Earlier on Thursday, a contingent of Malaysian soldiers met the plane to escort the coffins to the hearses.

All the coffins were draped in the national flag. Three of the 20 bodies have been cremated in the Netherlands.

The victims’ bodies have been given to their families and relatives to be laid to rest.

This is the first time Malaysia is holding a national day of mourning for civilian victims.

The honor has traditionally been accorded only to the royal family and heads of government.

Of the 43 Malaysian victims, 28 have been identified in the Netherlands so far, which is leading an international investigation into the crash in eastern Ukraine.

More than 200 coffins with remains of the victims have so far been taken to the Netherlands.

The inquiry is being hampered by continuing fighting between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian rebels near the crash site.

[youtube UO1YYhFTwng 650]

Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.