KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18, 2014:
The remains of three more Malaysian victims of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 have yet to be accounted for, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
He said the remains of five more Malaysians had been identified and are undergoing the documentation process to be released.
To date, 224 victims of MH17 have been identified, with 74 victims still under the process of identification, and out of the 43 Malaysians on board the ill-fated aircraft, the remains of 41 citizens, comprising 26 passengers and 15 crew members, have been identified.
“Tomorrow, the remains of three Malaysians, two passengers and one crew member, will be brought back home,” he told a press conference on the MH17 and MH370 tragedies at Mindef here today.
Hishammuddin also gave the assurance that Malaysia remained fully committed to finding the remains of the Malaysian victims still unaccounted for. “We will continue to work closely with Australia and the Netherlands through the Combined Joint International Task Force (CIJTF), Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other authorities to re-enter the crash site.
“We are trying out best to re-enter the site before the onset of winter to search and recover for the remains of the victims and possible debris,” Hishammuddin said, adding that OSCE was currently assessing whether it is safe for the Malaysian authorities to enter the conflict zone.
Hishammuddin reiterated that the Transport Ministry would continue to focus on the investigation process and coordinate efforts to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice
“The ministry will be working closely with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers on this,” he said.
The situation in eastern Ukraine, where the crash site is located, is still reported to be unsafe even through Kiev and pro-Kremlin agreed to a ceasefire.
Skirmishes are still reported to be taking place between the two sides.
MH17, with 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board, was believed to have been shot down while heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam on July 17 and crashed in eastern Ukraine.