team of specialists involved in the Disaster Victim Identification process for victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are said to have conducted post-mortems on 150 complete bodies from the crash site.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam (pic) said this at a news conference before the ministry's post-Cabinet meeting in Putrajaya today, Bernama reported.
The minister added that, as of yesterday, aside from the "complete bodies" there were 300 body parts which have also been examined in the post-mortem process being undertaken in the town of Hilversum, in the Netherlands.
He said the body parts were among 600 parts contained in 226 coffins that arrived from Ukraine.
"Of the 600 parts, post-mortems had been conducted on 450 of them, of which 150 were complete bodies, while 300 were various incomplete body parts," Bernama quoted Dr Subramaniam as saying.
The minister said the DVI team was also in the process of conducting a post-mortem on the remains which were brought to the Hilversum army camp on Monday. These were parts found from last week through the weekend by a multinational team of investigators who have been combing the MH17 crash site for more of the victims' remains.
"The post-mortem is expected to be completed in one or two weeks, after which the matching process will be conducted based on the DNA samples of immediate family members."
The minister also informed media that the process of matching the remains with the DNA would take another three weeks, after which the government would decide on the process of bringing home the remains of the victims.
"Family members of some of the victims want the bodies to be brought home as soon as possible, while others want the bodies to be cremated there (in the Netherlands). The government will consider all views," he said, according to Bernama.
Dr Subramaniam said currently, the Malaysian and international DVI teams were in the phase of matching the ante-mortem and post-mortem data to identify the victims.
Flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine, near its border with Russia, on July 17 while on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board.
The Boeing 777 aircraft is believed to have been shot down by surface to air missiles by pro-Russian rebels.
Besides Malaysians, nationals from the Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand were among the 283 passengers on board. The crew are all Malaysians. – August 6, 2014.