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Experts identifying Flight 17 victims find DNA samples from 283 people, 173 positive IDs

by The Associated Press

Posted Aug 27, 2014 7:32 am EDT

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.