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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs