August 27, 2014 7:48 am

Experts identifying Flight 17 victims make 173 positive IDs

Australian experts examine the area of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane crash in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)


THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Experts working to identify the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 say they have gathered DNA samples from 283 different people and have positively identified 173 of them.

Wim Heijnen of the Netherlands Forensic Institute said Wednesday the DNA samples do not all equate to a positive identification of a victim. Some of the samples could be from workers who gathered the bodies where the jet was shot down in eastern Ukraine.

All 298 people on board died when the plane heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was shot out of the sky on July 17 over an area controlled by pro-Russia separatists. The victims included 196 Dutch citizens.

Heijnen said he was hopeful that forensic experts can identify more DNA samples using more sensitive equipment or new samples.

© 2014 The Associated Press

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