KIEV/THE HAGUE, July 22 -- The black boxes from the crashed flight MH17 have been handed over to Dutch investigators in Ukraine, and will later be sent to the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) for forensic analysis.
"The black boxes from flight MH17 have been handed over by Malaysian experts to the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) that is leading the international investigation," the Dutch Foreign Ministry announced late Tuesday.
The black boxes will then be passed on to Farnborough in Britain, where experts can read the data stored in the black boxes and try to find the exact cause of the crash.
"It is normal procedure for black boxes to be sent for analysis to the nearest laboratory authorized by the International Civil Aviation Association," Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Wednesday.
The transportation will be accompanied by members of the international investigation team.
The Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.
Meanwhile, the first remains of victims are to arrive Wednesday in the Netherlands, which lost 193 citizens in the fatal crash.
"Once a number of victims are ready to go, a plane will fly to Eindhoven Airport," said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte Tuesday. "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."p From Eindhoven in the southern Netherlands, the victims will be transferred to the Corporal Van Oudheusden barracks in Hilversum near Amsterdam for identification.
"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."
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk on Monday said the rescuers have recovered 272 bodies from the crash site
But international monitors were less satisfied with the result. "There is still evidence of missing human remains in at least two of the locations," said Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)'s mission to Ukraine after visiting the impact site.
International monitors said more remains were left decomposing under the sweltering summer heat in the vast crash site littered with poignant fragments from hundreds of destroyed lives.
The monitors also observed changes at the site: "The fuselage has been moved. It appears that the cone section had been split into two and there could have been possible changes to the tail fin as well," Bociurkiw said.
But the spokesperson said that they would leave the examination to experts and not "speculate."