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Dutch ponder sending soldiers, cops to MH17 crash site in Ukraine

Following the ceremony at the Netherlands' Eindhoven Airport honoring some of the victims of last week’s missile attack on a passenger plane over the Ukraine that was attended by King Willem-Alexander, queen Maxima and other dignitaries on Wednesday afternoon, officials from the Dutch government said the investigation into the suspected war crime was far from over. It was announced that the Netherlands government is weighing several options including the deployment of a group of soldiers and police officers, especially crime scene investigators and technicians to Ukraine to secure the MH17 crash site and conduct a full investigation, the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant reported on Wednesday.

One of 40 coffins is off-loaded from a transport plan arriving in the Netherlands from the Ukraine.
CRN/Chuck Wilder

The contingent of soldiers and police officers would be charged with making certain there would be no more contamination of the crash site or the carting away of more wreckage from what's left of ill-fated Boeing 777. Besides soldiers and cops, accident investigators with expertise in airline crashes will search for clues while the last of the 298 victims are removed.

According to the Dutch news media, wreckage from the plane is spread over a large area and not all the bodies have yet been located. Unfortunately, the crash site was never secured and there are reports of looting by either pro-Russian Ukrainians or those civilians living nearby.

"The thought that those poor innocent passengers could not be left alone in death makes many people worldwide very angry," said former Detective Sid Franes, who himself had to respond to a tragic air crash in New York in 1975 in which 124 passengers and crew members died.

"My fear is that no one will be held responsible for this war crime and people will soon just forget the incident completely," Franes added.

The 40 victims, many of whom are still unidentified, were unloaded from the two planes one by one in simple wooden coffins and loaded onto hearses. From Eindhoven Airport the victims' remains were transported to a Dutch army base in Hilversum where forensic technicians and pathologists will work to finally identify the crash victims.

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB), now in charge of the investigation, said that as of mid-afternoon on Wednesday investigators’ safety at the crash site was still not guaranteed by either the Ukraine or Russian governnments.