An Australian C-17 carrying the bodies of 30 victims from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 lands in Eindhoven (screenshot from NPO Nieuws broadcast) - Credit: An Australian C-17 carrying the bodies of 30 victims from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 lands in Eindhoven (screenshot from NPO Nieuws broadcast)
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 - 17:15
First 50 Ukraine crash victims on Dutch soil
Two military transport planes carrying fifty wooden coffins landed without incident at Eindhoven Airport. The coffins contained the remains of passengers who had been on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which fell from the sky over eastern Ukraine after it was struck with a missile. The first, a Dutch Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft held the bodies of twenty people. It departed Kharkiv, Ukraine at approximately 11 a.m. and landed just before 3:48 p.m. local time. The second aircraft, an Australian Boeing C-17 Globemaster, transported the bodies of thirty people. It left Kharkiv at about 1 p.m., landing in Eindhoven at 3:51 p.m. Shortly after the planes landed, bells chimed across the Netherlands, followed by a nationwide moment of silence. Uniformed military members took each coffin off the planes one-by-one, as King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte looked on. The coffins were then loaded into separate hearses, which lined up on the tarmac. Once completed, the hearses will be driven in procession to an army facility in Hilversum where they will be identified. The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was struck by a surface-to-air missile while flying over the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Of the 298 passengers onboard, 193 were Dutch. About 80 passengers were teenagers, children and infants.