SA team goes to Ukraine to identify pilot killed in Malaysian crash

2014-07-23 17:46

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A team has left South Africa to identify the body of the South African pilot killed when a Malaysia Airlines plane crashed in the Ukraine, the pilot’s brother said.

Campbell Dalziel, brother of Cameron Dalziel who was killed in the crash, said today he believed the team would go to the Netherlands where the remains of those killed were being taken.

“The British foreign office have been good and the Canadian Helicopter Corporation for whom my brother worked have been good,” he said.

“Also the SA deputy director of consular services, Alfred Brown, and Brigadier Helena Ras of the SA Victim Identification Centre. She’s a friend and she’s assisted with the DNA swab from my mother and father.”

Ras has also taken ID documents.

“She’s going there with all the documents and dental records, and they’re going to do the investigation and ID the body.”

Dalziel said the support he and his family had received since the crash had been overwhelming, even from people who did not know his brother.

“The whole situation was a senseless act. My brother was a passenger, and he was a passenger with over 200 people on that flight,” he said.

“Unfortunately, I don’t know other people’s families, and I’m sure others are sharing what we’re going through. There are tears and too many words.”

He said a memorial for Cameron would likely be held next week.

Agence France-Presse reported this afternoon that the first bodies from flight MH17 had arrived in the Netherlands, almost a week after the plane was shot down over Ukraine.

Grieving relatives, along with the king and queen of the Netherlands, received the as-yet unidentified victims.

The bodies are to be transferred to a military base at Hilversum, southeast of Amsterdam, where forensics experts will identify them.

Flags of the 11 nations that lost citizens in the crash flew at half-mast at the airport in Eindhoven.

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