MH17 black boxes to be sent to UK for analysis

Jul 23, 2014, 11:19 IST | IANS

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai on Wednesday said that crashed Malaysia Airline flight MH17's black boxes would be handed over to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) for forensic analysis.

"It is normal procedure for black boxes to be sent for analysis to a laboratory authorised by the International Civil Aviation Association," Xinhua quoted Liow as saying.

The decision of handing over the black boxes was made by the international investigation team, led by the Netherlands.

Liow said the black boxes would be flown to Farnborough, Britain, accompanied by Malaysian experts and other members of the international investigation team.

Earlier on Monday, the rebels including self-proclaimed prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Borodai, handed over the flight recorders of the ill-fated jetliner to Malaysian officials at a ceremony in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

A refrigerated train with the remains of the victims arrived in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, outside rebel territory, on Tuesday.

According to officials, the remains will be flown from a coordination centre in Kharkiv to the Netherlands for identification and forensic identification.

Malaysia also called for a comprehensive investigation by international independent bodies into the crash. In a strongly worded motion at a specially convened session of Parliament Najib called on all parties to work together to ensure investigations are completed immediately.

"The House also demands that a comprehensive investigation be carried out so that those believed to be responsible for this crime against humanity through the shooting down of MH17 are immediately brought to justice," Najib said.

He said the House also strongly condemned the "inhumane, uncivilised, violent and irresponsible" action of the parties believed to have shot down the Boeing 777.

Najib said the government has directed the Attorney-General to study the crash in detail to ensure all action required to be taken against the parties responsible for the tragedy is in line with international law. The premier expressed his anger and disappointment that the crash site was not immediately secured according to international practices, leading to loss of and tainted evidence.

"The delay in handling the tragedy has also led to the failure of due respect in protecting the dignity of the remains of the deceased," he said.

Najib said there were still unanswered questions such as whether the plane was brought down by a guided missile, on whose orders the action was carried out, who the weapon suppliers were and what were their true motives.

He also questioned whether there were plans to shoot down the plane intentionally or if it was an unintentional accident. He also assured families that efforts were underway to ensure the remains of victims are returned home.

The officials said that 282 bodies as well as recovered parts of 16 other bodies were loaded on to the refrigerated train.

Flight MH17, a Boeing 777, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed after being hit by a missile in Ukraine near the Russian border last Thursday, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board. Of the 283 passengers on board, 193 were Dutch.

This is the second major tragedy for Malaysia Airlines this year after flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board went missing while going from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing March 8. The flight remains untraced till date despite intense international search efforts.

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