Family of student travelling to Australia when he died on MH17 reveal there are still another 700 body parts to identify
- Ben Pocock was killed when MH17 was shot from the sky over the Ukraine
- He was travelling to Perth to study at the University of Western Australia
- His family say there are still 700 body parts to identify
The family of a British student who was travelling to Australia when he died on MH17 has revealed there are still 700 fragments of human remains to be identified in the Netherlands.
Ben Pocock, 20, from Keynsham, Bristol, was a second-year international business degree student at Loughborough University.
He was en route to Perth to study at the University of Western Australia when Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine in mid-July.
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Ben Pocock was one of 10 Britons who died on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17
The family of a British student who was travelling to Australia when he died on MH17 has revealed there are still 700 fragments of
human remains to be identified in the Netherlands
Ben's father, Jeremy Pocock, says his family has been fortunate in a way because they've been able to recover quite a lot of his body.
'But we are one of those families that will almost certainly have to go through the process of dealing with further identifications,' he told BBC TV on Thursday night (Friday morning AEDT).
'Only a few days ago we were informed that there are another 700 fragments of human tissue or bones yet to be identified and that's a process that's going to go until April or May.
Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin who were killed on flight MH17 when their plane was shot down over Ukraine after returning from a holiday to Amsterdam
'So there are a lot of families that are going to be receiving news of yet more identifications over the coming months and we may be one of them.'
Authorities announced in early December that some fragments of all 38 Australians who died on MH17 had at last been formally identified.
All 298 people on board the flight, from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, died when the jet was shot down over an area of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists on July 17.
the family of Ben Pocock have revealed that 700 pieces of human remains still need to be identified
Mr Pocock said four Dutch families were still waiting for loved ones to be identified and even where identification had been possible in some cases it was 'minimal'.
Many believe Russian-backed rebels shot down MH17 on July 17, but the exact cause remains unknown.
'The most important question for me and for my family - and all the other families I should imagine - is what happened and who did it?' Mr Pocock said.
Mary and Gerry Menke were aboard the doomed flight when it was shot down over the Ukraine
'They must be held to account. That's it - that's the bottom line.
'(But) we have to be careful that we don't jump the gun and that we've got all the evidence and it's properly gathered.'
The first sections of wreckage arrived in the Netherlands last week.
Australian woman Emma Bell was a victim of the MH17 crash
Australia's lead envoy in the investigation, Angus Houston, expects the wreckage will indicate what happened.
But the criminal investigation into who's responsible will be 'exceedingly difficult', he cautioned last week.
Ben, an international business student, was heading to Australia for six months of study and travel.
Queensland resident Roger Guard was on the flight when pro-Russian rebels shot down the plane
Mr Pocock said his wife Louise would have liked a final coffee with Ben at Bristol airport but he was so excited he headed straight through to the gates.
'So we said our goodbyes, we had a hug and that was it,' Mr Pocock said.
'We watched him go off into departures and ... we never saw him again.'
Ben's younger sister, Emily, said grieving had been very strange because her brother was supposed to be in Australia for six months anyway.
Sister Philomene Tiernan, who was well-loved in her by all her pupils, died onboard MH17
'He wasn't supposed to be at home,' she told the BBC.
'So we've had a hard time actually accepting what's happened.'
Mr Pocock discovered news of the crash after checking Twitter on his phone as he returned home.
'It said a Malaysia Airlines flight had crashed and I just knew, in that second, that it was his,' he said.
'Even though I couldn't quite recall the flight number I just knew immediately that it was his flight.'
Pro-Russian rebels shot down the plane from the sky after it entered Ukraine airspace
Mr Pocock said his family were desperate for answers over what had happened and who was responsible.
'The most important question for me, and for my family and for all the other families I should imagine, is what happened and who did it, i n very, very simple terms.
'They should be held to account. That's it, that's the bottom line.'
The victims of the crash included 10 Britons, 43 Malaysians and 195 Dutch nationals.