Malaysia Airlines released a complete MH17 passenger list and manifest on Saturday.
In a statement, Malaysia Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai condemned the incident: “This outrage cannot go unpunished. Once again, Malaysia condemns this brutal act of aggression, and calls for those responsible to be found, and to face the full force of justice without delay.”
Nationalities of the victims include 193 from the Netherlands (1 dual Netherlands/U.S. citizen); 43 from Malaysia; 27 from Australia; 12 from Indonesia; 10 from the United Kingdom; four from Germany; four from Belgium; three from the Philippines; one from Canada; and one from New Zealand for a completed passenger list of 298.
“Malaysia mourns the loss of all 298 passengers and crew. We feel for their families. And we promise to do all we can to ensure that the investigation is completed, and that justice is done,” said Lai.
MH17 was believed to have been shot down by suspected pro-Russian seperatists on Thursday as it traveled from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Most of the passengers onboard were said to be researchers going for AIDS conference.
Lai also discussed the MH17 investigation, citing concerns about security and the current conflict in Ukraine. “The integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place.
“Interfering with the scene of the crash risks undermining the investigation itself. Any actions that prevent us from learning the truth about what happened to MH17 will not be tolerated. Failure to stop such interference would be a betrayal of the lives that were lost.”
A team of 212 Malaysian investigators, including 85 Malaysia Airlines personnel, arrived in Kiev and Amsterdam on Saturday to assist in the investigation.
Lai said MH17 did not enter restricted airspace and cited reporting from Eurocontrol and the Wall Street Journal about the numerous flights that followed the same flight path over eastern Ukraine prior to Thursday. “The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile,” said Lai.
Following the press conference, Malaysia Airlines released the complete MH17 passenger manifest and urged families and friends to contact the company. The airline set up phone lines in the relevant countries to help establish contact with relatives and friends.
“In the past 45 hours, the airline together with various foreign embassies have made every effort to establish contact with the next-of-kin but is still unable to identify many more family members,” a statement by the airline said.