Dutch King and Queen Receive First MH17 Victims
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima were yesterday present for a solemn service at Eindhoven Airbase, as the first bodies of victims of last week’s Malaysia Airlines plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands.
Representatives of the ten nations which lost citizens in the incident were also present to receive the 40 coffins upon their arrival from the Ukraine on Dutch and Australian military planes. Prince Laurent of Belgium was sent to the service on behalf of his brother, King Philippe.
The grief was obvious on the faces of the dignitaries, and could be heard from members of the victims’ families – hidden from the media’s view – as the two aircraft touched down and Dutch soldiers carried 40 wooden caskets on to the tarmac and into black hearses. The hearses were then given a police escort to Korporaal van Oudheusdenkazerne, the military barracks in Hilversum, where a team of experts will begin the process of identifying the remains so they can be returned to their families.
298 people were killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over south-east Ukraine on July 17. 193 were Dutch, 43 Malaysian, 27 Australian (along with 10 permanent residents), 12 Indonesian, 10 British, 4 Belgian, 4 German, 3 Filipino, 1 Canadian and 1 New Zealander.
More remains are expected to arrive in the Netherlands over the coming days.Filed under Belgian Royals, Dutch Royals
Tagged King Willem-Alexander, Prime Minister Rutte, Prince Laurent, Queen Máxima.