THE HAGUE, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- In the past week a total of 21 victims of the MH17 flight disaster in eastern Ukraine have been identified, which brings the total of identified persons to 23, the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice declared on Friday.
Of the 21 new identifications, 16 persons had the Dutch nationality, of whom one with a dual nationality (also British). The other victims are from Malaysia (2), Germany (1), Canada (1), and Britain (1). The two already identified persons had the Dutch nationality.
The MH17 crash on July 17 cost the lives of 298 people, of whom 196 had the Dutch nationality, according to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The relatives of the identified victims were informed and after consultation with the relatives, if desired, also the mayor of the residence of the victim was informed.
A team of specialists in the army barracks in the city of Hilversum have the task of identifying the victims of the crash. In total 228 coffins were transported to the Netherlands, but it is unclear how many of the total of victims of the plane crash are among the remains.
It may take months before all present victims are identified. Media will be informed every Friday from now on about the amount of identified persons and the progress.
The team members of the Dutch repatriation mission landed at Eindhoven Airport on Friday, together with the Australian and Malaysian crew. The Australians and Malaysians return to their countries in the coming days.
The recovery mission on the MH17 crash site was stopped on Wednesday due to the deteriorating security conditions in the area. Around the crash site Ukrainian government troops and anti-government militants are involved in fights for power in the strategically important area for both camps.
A small team remained in the region to hand locals an opportunity to transfer personal belongings or human remains to this team.