PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia: The Health Minister of Malaysia has confirmed that the dental records of all of the Malaysian victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 have been collected and sent to the Netherlands for forensic identification.
According to Datuk Seri Dr Subramaniam s/o K.V. Sathasivam his ministry has also provided DNA samples and fingerprints of the deceased passengers of the flight, which was bound for Kuala Lumpur on 17 July, to an Interpol disaster response team.
Forty-three Malaysian passengers, including 15 crew members, were on board the Boeing, which is believed to have been shot down by pro-Russian rebels over Donetsk in Ukraine three weeks ago. Since access to the crash site remains difficult owing to ongoing conflict in the region, only 70 coffins containing the remains of the victims have been collected and sent to the Netherlands so far, according to Subramanian. He told the New Strait Times newspaper in Kuala Lumpur that the first results from the identification process, which is currently underway at a military facility in Heelsum near Amsterdam, are expected to be available within the next two weeks.
A total of 298 passengers, most of whom were of Dutch descent, were killed in the incident, which is still under investigation by international organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
The article was published on Dental-Tribune International on Aug 11, 2014