SEPANG, Oct 3 (Bernama) — The remains of five more victims of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 tragedy were brought home Friday, raising to 42 the remains brought home so far.
The remains of Matthew Ezekial Sivagnanam, Muhammad Arfuz Tambi and Meling Mula were brought in coffins while the cremation ashes of Lee Kiah Yeen and his wife Liew Yau Chee were brought in urns.
An air of melancholy hung over the area at the Bunga Raya Complex of the KL International Airport (KLIA) as the coffins and urns were brought out of the aircraft with full military honours.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and several relatives of the five victims were at the complex to receive the remains.
The coffin bearing the remains of Matthew Ezekial was brought out first from the aircraft, followed by the urns with the cremation ashes of Lee and Liew, and then the coffins with the remains of Muhammad Arfuz and Meling.
The urns with the cremation ashes of Lee and Liew were placed in one hearse upon the request of their next-of-kin.
After the coffins and urns had been placed in the hearses, all the people present at the complex area observed a minute’s silence at 8.58 am.
The hearses were then driven past the tent set up for the next-of-kin and the VIPs.
The coffin bearing the remains of Muhammad Afruz, the youngest son of the late Tambi Jiee and Ariza Ghazalee who were also killed in the disaster, was flown in a C-130 aircraft of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) to Kuching at 9.43 am.
The coffin with the remains of Meling was flown in another RMAF C-130 aircraft to Bintulu, Sarawak, at 9.45 am.
Flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The Boeing 777-200 aircraft was shot down over the troubled country.
Besides Malaysians, nationals from the Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand were among the 298 people on board.
As Dutch nationals comprised the biggest number of the passengers, the remains recovered from Ukraine were flown to the Netherlands for identification and repatriation to the respective countries.
Forty-four Malaysians, one of them of dual nationality, were on the ill-fated aircraft. The remains of two more Malaysians remain to be brought home.