Rebel leaders in east Ukraine said on Sunday that a train carriage filled with the personal belongings of the victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 had been handed over to Dutch officials.
“The carriage has been sealed and is ready to be sent out of the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” said Sergei Kavtaradze, a member of the self-declared rebel authority’s security council.
The train carriage contains “personal belongings and luggage of the disaster”, he said in a statement, adding that it had been formally signed over to the Dutch on the ground in rebel territory on Saturday.
The Dutch justice ministry on Sunday said a team of 30 forensic experts was headed to the crash site, following an agreement the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe made with rebels.
Kavtaradze was not immediately available to give further details.
The Netherlands is leading an investigation of the July 17 incident and are planning to deploy gendarmes and police to the scene of the crash near Donetsk, along with Australian officers.
Russia has also opened its own inquiry.
Out of the 298 victims of the crash, 193 were Dutch citizens and 28 were Australian.
The rebels have rejected accusations they shot down the plane with a missile from Russia.