MH17 passenger list to be released after families informed, says minister

Malaysia Airlines will release the passenger manifest of MH17 after all next-of-kin have been informed while the cargo manifest will be released later today, newly minted Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said today.

He said in a specially called press conference in Sama-Sama Hotel, Sepang, Malaysia had been formally invited to participate in an investigation to be headed by the Ukrainian government.

He also urged for the integrity of the crash site to be preserved.

Liow said that 40 Malaysia Airlines employees would be flown to Amsterdam to offer support to families.

He added that as announced by the prime minister this morning, a special disaster and rescue team, comprising of 62 members would be sent to Kiev to retrieve the bodies and whatever records possible.

Malaysia Airlines will not be flying the next-of-kin of passengers and crew of flight MH17 to Ukraine, said the carrier's director of operations, Captain Izham Ismail‎.

‎"We are not going to send the families to Kiev. We will discuss the course of action with them," he said at a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel in Sepang today.

Izham said it will be up to each family where they would want to fly the remains of their loved ones to.

"We will discuss this with them and it is up to them," he added.

Liow also said that 173 passengers on board the downed flight were Dutch.

Earlier reports had put the number of Dutch passengers at 154.

There were 44 Malaysians on board, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and nine Britons, the figures showed. The nationalities of 20 passengers have yet to be verified. – July 18, 2014.