Recovering the victims’ remains and personal belongings

The repatriation mission for MH17 is complete. All human remains that were found have been brought back to the Netherlands. A year after completion of the repatriation process  a total of 296 victims had been identified. Two people have not yet been identified. It is possible that additional remains or personal belongings may be found in the future. Agreements have been made with the local authorities and local residents about how such items will be recovered.

Repatriation of victims’ bodies to the Netherlands

Starting on 23 July 2014, which was declared a day of national mourning, the remains of the victims began arriving back in the Netherlands. Repatriation took place over the course of 10 flights. Upon arrival at Eindhoven Airport, the aircraft were met with due ceremony by the next of kin and members of the government.

The hearses containing the bodies then travelled from Eindhoven Airport to the Korporaal van Oudheusden Barracks, under police escort.

Identification of the victims

The National Forensic Investigation Team (LFTO), working out of the Korporaal van Oudheusden Barracks, was responsible for identifying the victims of the MH17 disaster.

This required obtaining DNA profiles from all repatriated remains. The profiles were then sent to the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) for identification. After consulting with the next of kin the authorities returned the bodies and remains that had been identified.