Netherlands Receives First Victims' Bodies From Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash

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July 23, 2014

The Netherlands observed a national day of mourning today to honor the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash. Of the 298 victims, 193 were Dutch citizens. The flags of all nations that lost citizens in the crash were flying at half mast today throughout the country, and a minute of silence was observed to honor those lost.

Members of the Dutch royal family and hundreds of families who have lost loved ones were present at Eindhoven air base as the coffins arrived from Ukraine. The coffins were loaded into hearses and taken to Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks, where the bodies will be identified. According to BBC News, the identification process could take months to complete.

In the wake of the Malaysia Airlines tragedy, many around the world expressed outrage over the delayed response in recovering the bodies of victims. Blame has been levied on the pro-Russian separatists that control the region where the plane went down. However, Alexander Borodai, who is one of the separatist leaders, told the BBC that officials from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) instructed the separatists to leave the victims to be collected by experts. An OSCE spokesman has denied Borodai's claim.

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