Dutch investigators say not all the MH17 bodies have been recovered from the crash site and some remain on the ground despite assurances from the Ukrainian government to the contrary.
Dutchman Jan Tuinder is leading the team of international experts that is preparing the remains to be transported to Holland starting on Wednesday.
“Tomorrow we will bring the remains to Holland,” he told reporters in Kharkiv on Tuesday evening.
“I am aware we are bringing our victims back home. But when you are from Australia it’s only further away.”
However, Mr Tuinder revealed that not all the MH17 passengers were on the refrigerated train that had arrived from the rebel village of Torez earlier in the day.
“As far as we know at this moment we are talking about 200 victims which means there are probably remains left in the area where this disaster took place,” he said in English.
“We are not sure of that but that’s what I think at this moment. Certain is 200 victims that we are taking out.”
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister on Monday said 282 bodies and 87 fragments of another 16 bodies had been found.
Volodymyr Groysman told reporters in Kiev that all 298 deceased passengers had been loaded onto the refrigerated train bound for government-controlled Kharkiv.
Asked about the discrepancy, Mr Tuinder said: “The only thing I’m sure of is that I’m sure of the number 200.”
There were almost 300 people on the plane that was likely shot down by Russia-backed separatists.
The Dutch mission head on Tuesday insisted the bodies will be found.
“I know that we do have to go back to sweep the (crash) area,” Mr Tuinder said.
“It’s an enormous area we all know that. It’s more than 14km in length.”
But, he said, the priority at present was returning the bodies from the train.
The victims will be identified in Holland so the remains are being placed in coffins ready for transport.
The Netherlands has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning for the 193 Dutch victims of the crash.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced the first bodies recovered from last week’s disaster over rebel-held Ukraine are due to arrive in the Netherlands at 4pm local time on Wednesday (12am AEST) where they will be met by relatives.
King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima will be present at Eindhoven airport for the arrival of the bodies which will be marked by a minute’s silence.
Flags on public buildings around the country will fly at half mast, Mr Rutte said.
Representatives of some of the 10 other nations whose citizens were killed in the crash will also be present.
It’s expected Australia’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Neil Mules, and the local defence attache, will be there too.
Up to 39 Australian citizens and residents were among the 298 people killed.