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MH17 wreckage convoy reaches Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
John Beauchamp 05.12.2014 11:44
A convoy of trucks carrying the wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July, passed through the Ukrainian-Polish border on Friday morning.

Ukrainian workers load parts of the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines MH17 passenger jet on a custom terminal in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 03.12.2014. Debris will be transported to the Netherlands for investigation, the Dutch Safety Board said. Photo: PAPEPA/SERGEI KOZLOV

The four-lorry convoy is bound for the Gilze-Rijen airbase in the Netherlands, where it is to be examined further, reports website DutchNews.nl.

The lorries passed through the border checkpoint in Korczowa, south-east Poland, with the convoy being given priority entry into the country, a spokesperson for the Border Guard, Agnieszka Golias told the PAP news agency.

“On both sides of the border a separate lane was marked out, with both Polish and Ukrainian border guards treating the convoy as a priority matter with the aim of providing a smooth and swift clearance to the convoy,” spokesperson for the regional Border Guard office in Przemysl, Elzbieta Pikor also told the agency.

Police are to accompany the convoy along the Polish section of the route, which follows the A4-E40 motorway through Poland towards the German border crossing in Jedrzychowice near the town of Zgorzelec/Gorlitz.

“We will take care so that the convoy will pass through smoothly, especially at major junctions, so that it won’t cause any major disruption to traffic,” police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski said.

The comment comes as the motorway passes through a number of dense urban areas, including Krakow, the Upper Silesian conurbation, as well as Wroclaw.

The Polish Interior Ministry has also underlined that the authorities are prepared to secure the convoy while it travels through Poland.

The Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed in the area of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, in mid-July during heavy fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatist rebels.

While the exact cause of the catastrophe still remains unknown, Dutch prosecutor Fred Westerbeke, who is heading up investigations into the crash, told the German Spiegel magazine that while he has no hard evidence which proves that the plane was shot down by rebels, this version of events seems to be the most likely.

Ukraine officially stands by the view that the aircraft was shot down by a Russian built Buk ground-to-air missile launched by the separatists, although they have denied the allegations.

In total, 298 people died in the air catastrophe, including 193 Dutch citizens, 43 Malaysians and 38 Australians. (jb)

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