MH17 wreckage removal starts in east Ukraine

Members of the Dutch expert team watch as wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is removed and loaded on a truck at the crash site near the east Ukraine village of Grabove, on November 16, 2014Workers started winching debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on to trucks in eastern Ukraine Sunday, paving the way for its eventual return to the Netherlands four months after it was downed, killing 298 people. A crew from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic — the pro-Moscow separatists who hold the territory — supervised by Dutch experts used metal saws to cut up the wreckage before it was lifted on to trucks at the remote crash site near the village of Grabove. “The first pieces of debris from the MH17 wreckage were gathered up today,” said a statement from the Dutch Safety Board, whose investigators are leading the probe into the shooting down of the July 17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. A rebel official said the crew of some 15 people from Donetsk’s emergency ministry hoped to finish the operations in the next 10 days and that they would focus on the largest chunks of fuselage first.

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