Two military transport planes carrying 40 coffins bearing victims of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 have landed in the southern city of Eindhoven.
Six days after the Boeing 777 was shot down over the battlefields of eastern Ukraine, the first bodies finally arrived Wednesday in the Netherlands, the country that bore the heaviest toll in the crash that killed all 298 passengers and crew.
A Dutch Hercules C-130 that Dutch government spokesman Lodewijk Hekking says is carrying 16 coffins was closely followed by an Australian C-17 Globemaster plane carrying 24 coffins.
The Dutch government declared a day of national mourning. Hundreds of relatives were expected to travel to Eindhoven air base where Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will wait for the flights.
The BBC’s Daniel Boettcher joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti from Eindhoven with details.
- Daniel Boettcher, correspondent for the BBC.