Pro-Russian separatists Monday handed over the two black boxes from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was brought down over eastern Ukraine last week.
“We have decided to hand the black boxes over to Malaysian experts,” Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic, told reporters following a breakthrough in negotiations with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“On behalf of the Malaysian government I thank the government of the Donetsk Republic for handing us the two black boxes which are the property of Malaysia,” a Malaysian spokesman said. “We have not found the black boxes from flight MH370 (which disappeared over the Indian Ocean in March), so are happy to be able to recover these.
“I see that the black boxes are intact with only minor damage.”
The handover occurred on the 11th floor of the Donetsk People's Republic's administration building, the Australian reported.
There are two types of black boxes: a cockpit voice recorder, which records the conversation among pilots and navigators, and a flight data recorder, which collects information from the plane's electronic systems. Both boxes are orange.
The action came a short time after the U.N. Security Council approved unanimously a resolution demanding a full and open investigation of the crash that killed 298 passengers and crew when the plane was shot out of the sky. Western analysts have said the doomed plane was hit by a Russian-made missile but it was unclear whether it was fired by separatists or their Russian advisers. Russia and the separatists have accused the Ukranian government of downing the plane.
The separatists Monday also declared a 10-kilometer cease-fire radius around the crash site to give international investigators access. Armed militia moved out of the area Sunday, saying there was nothing left to guard around the crash site.
A train carrying the bodies of 200 of the victims to Kharkiv, Ukraine, where Dutch officials were on hand to receive the victims and then fly them to Netherlands, Expatica reported.