Forensic experts working to identify the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine, said Wednesday they had established the DNA profiles of at least 283 different people. Wim Heijnen of the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) said the profiles might not all lead to the positive identification of a victim because some could be from workers who touched or moved bodies at the crash site in eastern Ukraine, near the Russia border.
So far, Dutch authorities have positively identified 173 of the 298 people who were on board the Boeing 777 when it was brought down by a missile on July 17. More than 600 samples of human remains were taken from the crash site. Heijnen said additional research would now begin to try to match those samples with DNA from surviving relatives. However, it is not yet clear if the matches will ever be conclusive enough to positively identify the remains of all 298 victims, the NFI said in a statement.
- Alastair Jamieson