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First Malaysia Airlines MH17 Bodies Land in Netherlands

A moment of silence will be held momentarily.

The bodies of 40 Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 victims were flown Wednesday from Ukraine to the Netherlands, where a day of national mourning was being observed. With the Dutch prime minister and members of the royal family looking on, soldiers carried the coffins from the planes to waiting hearses with solemn ceremony. Hundreds lined the roads, waiting for the caskets to be driven away from the airport.

Thursday's crash killed all 298 people aboard the Boeing 777, including 193 Dutch citizens. The initial flight carrying human remains departed just after 11 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) from Kharkiv, where they were taken by train from the crash scene via the rebel-held city of Donetsk on Tuesday. Nearly six hours later, the two planes landed at Eindhoven Airport.

More bodies are expected to be flown to the Netherlands on Thursday. It is not known exactly how many have been recovered from the scene of the crash. The train was allowed to leave after Malaysia reached an agreement with the pro-Russia fighters to hand over the recovered bodies for formal identification by Dutch authorities.



— M. Alex Johnson and Alastair Jamieson