Interpol teams to help identify Malaysian Airlines MH17 victims

Paris, Jul 19: Interpol said that they would send a team to help identify the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that crashed on Thursday in eastern Ukraine. In a press release, Interpol on Friday announced that at the request of the Ukrainian authorities, they are ready to send in the team in the next two days, Xinhua reported.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound Malaysia Airlines MH17 jetliner crashed on Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian border, with all the 298 passengers and crew members on board reportedly killed. It was believed to have been shot down. The flight had taken off from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

According to Malaysia Airlines, the identified passengers comprise 189 Dutch, 44 Malaysians (including 15 crew members), 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine British, five Belgians, four Germans, three Filipinos, one Canadian, and one New Zealander.

The nationalities of three other passengers are yet to be verified. Interpol will send an Incident Response Team (IRT) including Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) experts and a representative of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to provide assistance on site.

According to the statement, with the support of a 24-hour Command Centre and coordination based at the General Secretariat of the organization in Lyon, the team will also evaluate the need to deploy more experts from at least nine countries around the world to assist in the identification of the victims on the ill-fated flight.

“Interpol is uniquely placed to provide this support to each of our involved member countries, and having spoken with Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov, I have assured him of our continued assistance for as long as it is required,” Interpol chief Ronald K. Noble said.

This is the second major tragedy for Malaysia Airlines this year after flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing March 8 and remains untraced till date.

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