British MH17 passenger among 23 identified by Dutch-led forensic team

Investigators are examining the eastern Ukraine crash site

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A Dutch-led forensic team have identified 23 passengers, including one Briton, from the remains of those on board of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The Netherlands Justice Ministry spokesman Jean Fransman said those include 18 Dutch, two Malaysians, a Canadian, a German and a Briton. All their families have been notified, the ministry added.

All 298 passengers were killed when the Boeing 777-200 was apparently shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine. Some 193 of the victims were Dutch and 10 were British.

In all, 228 coffins have been brought to the Netherlands but it is not known how many victims that represents. The forensic experts at a military base in Hilversum are using DNA samples and dental records in a process expected to take months.

The crash site has been under the control of pro-Russian rebels and investigators have struggled to gain unrestricted access. It is feared the remains of other passengers could still be lying there.

Earlier, it emerged that the Malaysian government-owned investment company, Khazanah Nasional, had proposed to the carrier's board that it buy out minority shareholders at 27 sen (8 cents) a share, which is 29 per cent higher than the airline's average share price over the previous three months. 

It plans to make Malaysia Airlines fully government owned, removing it from the country's stock exchange before carrying out an overhaul of the carrier that is reeling from double disasters.

Additional reporting by agencies