PUTRAJAYA: The impact of fire and fall during the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy had caused some of the bones of the victims to be buried as deep as two feet underground, said D13 (Bank Data/DNA) chief assistant director, ACP Hussein Omar Khan.
The Royal Malaysian Police Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) commander for the MH17 tragedy said the victims' bones were found buried in the ground when the recovery team made its final mission in April this year.
"Until April this year, only 296 victims had positive identification while the other two victims were unidentified.
“Therefore, the recovery team made a final mission in April this year," he said, adding that only the Netherlands and Malaysia went on this final mission as Australia felt it was highly risky.
"We used armoured and bullet-proof cars to get into the crash site," he recalled in his talk titled 'Mass Fatality Investigation: The MH17 Experience' at the International Conference on Environmental Forensics organised by Universiti Putra Malaysia on Thursday.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it was brought down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
Hussein said during the final mission, the recovery team had to dig the crash site area as some of the bones were found to be buried in the soil.
"Archaeology forensics was used in the search this time. It was surprising to find bones 40cm and two-feet deep in the ground," he said.
Hussein said after the final mission, the recovery team believed the last two victims were identified and 99 per cent of the recovery operation was completed.
"Now grass has grown on the crash site and it is unlikely the recovery team will go there again unless there is any necessity," he added. – Bernama