As it happened: MH17 victims' bodies flown home

Key points

  • The first 40 coffins carrying victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane arrive in the Netherlands
  • Netherlands holds a day of mourning for the 193 Dutch nationals killed
  • Pro-Russian rebels are widely blamed for the deaths of 298 people on board
  • UK sources say rebels have tampered with evidence at the crash site
  • Two Ukrainian air force planes have been shot down not far from where MH17 went down, Ukrainian officials say
  • All times BST (GMT +1)

Live text


  • Sarah Fowler 
  • Harry Low 
  • Victoria Park 

Last updated 23 July 2014


Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the aftermath of the MH17 air disaster. The first planes carrying bodies from the downed Malaysia Airlines flight have left Ukraine for the Netherlands, which is holding a day of mourning for the 298 victims. Forty coffins were loaded on to two military planes at Kharkiv airport on Wednesday morning by a military guard of honour.


Pro-Russian rebels have been widely blamed for shooting down the plane on 17 July. UK government sources say intelligence shows the rebels deliberately tampered with evidence, moving bodies and placing parts from other planes in the debris.


Meanwhile, Ukraine's military says two of its fighter jets were shot down on Wednesday just 35km (20 miles) from the crash site.


A national day of mourning is being held in the Netherlands, including here at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

Man at Schipol airport


Members of the Dutch royal family and PM Mark Rutte are meeting the first flight, which has just landed in Eindhoven.

BREAKING 14:52 Breaking News

The first two planes carrying bodies of the victims have now landed in Eindhoven.

Plane arrives


Two aircraft - a Dutch military C-130 and Australian C-7 - flew the bodies to the Dutch airport, where they will be also met by families of the victims.


Churches around the Netherlands rang their bells for five minutes before the planes landed.


Members of the Dutch armed forces are marching towards the plane to bring the coffins onto the tarmac for the ceremony, before they are taken away for forensic identification.


Arjen de Wolff

tweets: Church bells ringing in The Netherlands. The plane, bringing our dead home, about to land. One minute of silence throughout the land. #MH17