MH17: Dutch Families Ask Where Are The Bodies

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 – Daisy Oehlers and Bryce Fredriksz, a Dutch couple in their 20s were en route to Bali, Indonesia from the Netherlands on July 17. Little did they know that the flight that it would have been their last flight after high-octane objects struck the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, over the conflict-stricken Ukraine.

A few months later, Daisy’s cousin Robby left the comfort of his home for Donetsk to embark on his own to search for any trace of his relatives. Robby was one of the many relatives of as many of 50 other victims who have grown increasingly  disappointed, that little help had come from tracing their loved ones, when the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot out of the sky.

All 298 passengers and crew – largely made up of Dutch – were killed. “There was a crater from a rocket impact just next to the nose part of the aeroplane. I found a blue suitcase, it wasn’t hers,” said Robby in a recent interview with Reuters. The report highlighted that attempts to recover parts of the aircraft and human remainshave repeatedly been called off due to fighting on the ground.

Families are yet at loggerheads over the fact that the Dutch government isn’t revealing enough information of the victims. A law firm reportedly preparing to sue the government for negligence over its handling of the matter. For Bryce and Daisy, their relatives have received the former’s foot and the latter’s part of a bone. That was all.

The Reuters also reported that nine people on board the Boeing 777 have no remains. And some families are waiting for body parts to hold funerals. Accompanied by a TV crew in hope of drawing attention, Robby spent three days scouring the site between Donetsk and Luhansk where he saw signs of bombardment on the vast area. As winter is fast approaching, Robby’s hopes diminished.

The Reuters in its report also highlighted that two parallel investigations are being conducted by the Dutch. The first one zooms in on the cause of the crash and a criminal inquiry – which marks the single largest in Dutch history. The spokesman Wim de Bruin was quoted as saying that at present, 100 Dutch law enforcement officials involved in the case, including 10 prosecutors.

The report also stated that Washington says it has intelligence to back the theory: the bird was shot down by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists. The Russian, on the other hand, denies any involvement. Prime Minister Mark Ruttehas called on Russian President Vladimir Putinto assert his influence over the rebels.

A legislator, Pieter Omtzigt cited the government as ‘not being open enough’. Omtzigt submitted a total of 43 questions about the disaster, of which he said 29 were left unanswered. The report also quoted him as saying; “on all these questions, we haven’t had an answer. I want to see full proof – if you kill 298 people you have to be held accountable.”

Just as Robby, who seeks plausible answers, Silene Fredriksz, Bryce’s 51-year-old mother said she is having sleepless nights. “It is simply taking too long. I hear him call: come get me”. To date, the remains of 278 of the victims have been identified by forensics experts at the Military Medical Centre in Hilversum, The Netherlands, where the remains of the victims were brought to from the crash site.

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