Monitors (L) from the Organisation for Security and
Cooperation in Europe stand near a refrigerator wagon,
which according to employees and local residents contains
bodies of passengers of the crashed Malaysia Airlines
Boeing 777 plane, at a railway station in the town of
Torez, Donetsk region. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev
Dozens of bodies from the site where a Malaysian airliner
crashed in eastern Ukraine were put into refrigerated rail
wagons overnight at a station in a town 15km from the scene,
rail workers say.
Monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation
in Europe, accompanied by armed rebels, checked the wagons. A
locomotive had been put at the head of the train, which one
worker said would be sent southwest to an undisclosed
Western officials have voiced concern about the handling of
the remains of the 298 people killed when the airliner
crashed on Thursday and the Dutch foreign minister has said
his country is "furious" to hear bodies were being "dragged
After lying there for two days in the summer heat, by Sunday
the bodies had been removed from a large swathe of the crash
site, leaving only bloodstained military stretchers along the
side of the road.
Sergei Kavtaradze, a senior official of the pro-Russian
rebels' self-proclaimed Donetsk People's republic, said all
196 of the bodies found so far had been loaded into the
wagons in Torez, an eastern town in the Donetsk region.
"They will stay there for now, until the issue (of what to do
with them) is resolved. We are waiting for the experts," he
told Reuters, saying he did not understand why the experts
had been delayed.
"We've been waiting for the experts for three days. From the
very first day after this catastrophe, we have welcomed any
experts. Ukrainian experts, international experts, Russian
experts... We have always said we will offer the maximum
guarantee of their safety in the territory we control."
Alexander Hug, deputy chief monitor of the OSCE special
monitoring mission to Ukraine, said his team had seen body
bags in the wagons but were unable to count them. He said he
did not know where the bodies would be taken.
One railway worker said the bodies were brought in during the
night and would be sent in the direction of the town of
Ilovaisk, southwest from Torez.
"Something was delivered and they told us to wait," one
railway worker said on condition of anonymity, adding that
the "something" were bodies.
"It's corpses. They brought the bodies overnight," a duty
officer at the Torez station told Reuters.