Trucks with personal belongings arrive in Kharkov

Two trucks with belongings of victims of flight MH17 arrived in the East Ukrainian city of Kharkov on Tuesday. The belongings comprise nine cubic metres of things collected from the crash site on Monday by the local disaster relief service SES.

The belongings will first be subjected to forensic examination in Kharkov. This is expected to be done on Wednesday. Eight additional experts have been flown in for this process. After this initial examination, the items will be flown to the Netherlands as soon as possible. It is not yet known exactly when this will take place.

On Monday, the local relief workers found, among other things, clothes, suitcases, mail, passports, credit cards, jewellery, cuddly toys and photos. ‘These are things that have emotional value for the next-of-kin. We are therefore delighted to have been able to collect these personal belongings’, commented the leader of the repatriation mission, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg.

The four Dutch citizens who were present for the collecting of the items yesterday have returned to Kharkov. Aalbersberg hopes that the local relief workers will be able to enter the disaster area again quickly to gather more personal belongings. ‘At the same time, I am realistic: the area is unsafe. Collecting items around Roszypne and Grabovo was the most that could be done yesterday.’

The situation is being reviewed on a daily basis to see if and when the possibility arises again to go to the crash site.