More crash bodies repatriated as family tells of hell beyond hell
Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster have arrived in the Netherlands, while diplomats promoted a plan for a UN team to secure the crash site.
All 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 – most of them Dutch citizens – were killed when the plane was shot down on July 17. US officials say the Boeing 777 was probably shot down by a missile from territory held by pro-Russian rebels, likely by accident.
Australian PM Tony Abbott, who says he fears some remains will never be recovered, has proposed a multinational force mounted by countries such as Australia, the Netherlands and Malaysia that lost citizens.
To that end, Mr Abbott said he had dispatched 50 police officers to London to be ready to join any organisation which may result.
Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop was travelling with her Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans to Kiev to seek an agreement with Ukraine to allow international police to secure the wreckage, Mr Abbott said. Details including whether officers would be armed and protected by international troops were yet to be agreed, Mr Abbott said.
This week, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution proposed by Australia demanding that rebels cooperate with an independent investigation and allow all remaining bodies to be recovered.
The two planes brought a total of 74 more coffins back to the Netherlands, said government spokesman Lodewijk Hekking.
The Dutch investigators gave permission for what it called "local parties" to move wreckage at the site in order to recover remaining victims.
Meanwhile, yesterday the parents of three Australian children aged 8 to 12 killed on MH17 say they are in a "hell beyond hell" and that not even those who destroyed the plane deserve such suffering.
Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris, whose father was also aboard, said: The sons Mo, 12, and Otis, 8, and daughter Evie, 10, were being accompanied by their grandfather, Nick Norris, who had agreed to fly with them from Amsterdam to Perth so that they could start school. The parents stayed on in Europe to extend their holiday by a few days.
"Our babies are not here with us – we need to live with this act of horror, every day and every moment for the rest of our lives ..."