News / Europe

Dutch Mourn Victims of Downed Malaysian Plane

People pay their respects as a convoy of hearses, bearing remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash, drive past in Hilversum, Netherlands, July 23, 2014.
People pay their respects as a convoy of hearses, bearing remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash, drive past in Hilversum, Netherlands, July 23, 2014.
Sharon Behn

Thousands of people lined the roads in the Netherlands on Wednesday, solemnly applauding the slow procession of 40 black hearses carrying the bodies of passengers killed when their passenger jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Some threw flowers in front of the cars, while others quietly lay bouquets and lit candles at the many impromptu memorials that have sprung up around the country.

A memorial service was held in Hilversum for the 298 passengers and crew killed when the plane was shot down six days ago. Among the dead were 193 Dutch. Outside the service, mounds of flowers were laid out on the ground in the form of an airplane.

Flight attendants and mourners gather near flower bouquets as they pay their respects at Schiphol Airport during a national day of mourning for the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in Schiphol July 23, 2014.Flight attendants and mourners gather near flower bouquets as they pay their respects at Schiphol Airport during a national day of mourning for the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in Schiphol July 23, 2014.
x
Flight attendants and mourners gather near flower bouquets as they pay their respects at Schiphol Airport during a national day of mourning for the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in Schiphol July 23, 2014.
Flight attendants and mourners gather near flower bouquets as they pay their respects at Schiphol Airport during a national day of mourning for the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in Schiphol July 23, 2014.

Moving ceremony

Earlier in the day, plain wooden coffins carrying some of the bodies of those killed were silently lowered into the waiting hearses at the Netherlands' Eindhoven air base before leaving for Hilversum where the remains are to identified.

The ceremony took place on the runway as dignitaries looked on. Flags at the airport flew at half staff, rippling in a breeze as coffin after coffin were taken off the two military planes that left Ukraine hours before. More caskets are expected to arrive soon.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, dressed in black, and Prime Minister Mark Rutte were among those at the ceremony.

MH17 passenger nationalitiesMH17 passenger nationalities
x
MH17 passenger nationalities
MH17 passenger nationalities

Black boxes delivered

The passenger plane was cruising over the fields of eastern Ukraine, more than 10,000 meters above ground and traveling in an internationally recognized air transport corridor when it apparently was knocked out of the sky - reportedly by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile.

Dutch authorities on Wednesday delivered the plane's two so-called "black boxes" containing data and voice recordings from the MH17 flight to Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch for download. The Dutch experts said there was no evidence the data had been tampered with. Ukraine has placed the Dutch in charge of investigating the disaster.

Ukraine's government blames separatist rebels supported by Moscow for the attack. U.S. officials say ill-trained pro-Russian rebels likely shot down the jetliner by mistake, thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian aircraft.

U.S. intelligence officials have been telling reporters they found no evidence of direct Russian involvement in the incident, and they do not know whether any Russian troops were present when the missile was fired. They added that Moscow's active support for separatists trying to secede from Ukraine, however, "created the conditions" that led to last week's fatal attack.

 

  • The convoy of hearses with the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 drives past international flags as it leaves Eindhoven airport to a military base in Hilversum, July 23, 2014.
  • King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and officials look at the convoy of hearses with the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 as it leaves Eindhoven airport to a military base in Hilversum, J
  • Flowers and a teddy bear are placed in front of a plane prior a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Eindhoven military air base, July 23, 2014.
  • Coffins of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine are loaded into hearses during a national reception ceremony at Eindhoven Airport, Netherlands, July 23, 2014.
  • Honor guards take part in a ceremony for the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 before they are loaded on a transport plane heading to the Netherlands, at Kharkiv Airport, Ukraine, July 23, 2014.
  • Ukrainian honor guards lift up a coffin containing the body of a Malaysian Airlines plane passenger to load it on a Dutch cargo plane, in Kharkiv Airport, Ukraine, July 23, 2014.
  • Honor guards carry a coffin of one of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 before loading it on a transport plane heading to the Netherlands, at Kharkiv Airport, July 23, 2014. 
  • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tables an emergency motion to condemn the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, at Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, July 23, 2014. 
  • Dutch flags fly half-staff in honor of citizens who were among the victims of flight MH17, in Delft, Netherlands, July 23, 2014.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama signs the book of condolence for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster at the Embassy of the Netherlands, as Deputy Chief of Mission Peter Mollema watches, Washington, July 22, 2014.

 


 

 

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Luther from: India
July 24, 2014 1:03 AM
Our deep condolences are with all those who lost near and dear ones. May God give strength to each and very one of you as memory of them will take times.

by: Baldur Dasche from: Beirut
July 23, 2014 5:21 PM
It toiok Putin's ggoons 4 fdayy to gather the dead from kilometers of crash site. It took two days on a train to get them to Kharkov for 'packaging'.

At this rate we're in for 5 days of political theatre. And 'official mourning' for, god bless them, a number of people who were very much like anybody else - but now, unhappily, are the focus of a world-class event. And the concommittent media circus.

This is as undignified as them lying in sunshine they could no longer feel. Do what needs to be done, quickly and efficiently and get them home to the people who loved them.

"World leaders" didn't. If they did, there would be no war in Ukraine and this would not have happened.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More