THE HAGUE, July 22 -- The first bodies of the victims of the MH17 crash in Ukraine are expected to arrive in the Netherlands on Wednesday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced at a press conference here on Tuesday.
The train with bodies from the disaster area entered Kharkov on Tuesday morning. In the Ukrainian city, controlled by the Ukrainian national government, preparations are currently going on for the first flight to the Netherlands.
"Once a number of victims is ready to go, a plane will fly to Eindhoven Airport," said Rutte. "This process will be done in stages so that everyone in Ukraine and the Netherlands can do their work as well as possible. I expect the first flight to Eindhoven in the course of Wednesday."
From Eindhoven the victims will be transferred to the Corporal Van Oudheusden barracks in Hilversum, where the identification will take place.
"After the identification the first to inform is the family," Rutte continued. "That can happen quickly sometimes, but it can also take weeks or months."
Netherlands leads the identification team of the victims of the disaster, but Prime Minister Rutte said that the Netherlands got the lead of investigating the cause of the disaster as well. "That is our next priority," said Rutte. "But our focus now is on the victims and their possessions."