2nd LD Writethru: First bodies of MH17 crash arrive in Netherlands

EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Two aircraft with the first bodies of the victims of the MH17 plane crash in Ukraine have landed at Eindhoven Airport on Wednesday, on a national mourning day in the Netherlands.

A Hercules plane of the Dutch Royal Air Force and an Australian Boeing C-17 brought an estimated total of 40 bodies from Kharkov to Eindhoven. And the bodies will be transferred to Hilversum for identification.

At Eindhoven airport a short mourning ceremony took place, attended by hundreds of relatives and among others King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher.

Five minutes before the arrival of the aircraft the church bells in the Netherlands started to ring. After the ceremony in Eindhoven a trumpet blare was followed by a nationwide national minute of silence.

The Dutch Railways also held a minute of silence with trains standing still, as well as the taxis, bus companies and other local transport companies.

People stopped their cars. In stores, music went off.

Air traffic at Eindhoven Airport was shut down from 3:45 p.m. (1345 GMT) until 6:00 p.m. (1600 GMT), while air traffic over the whole country was stopped for 13 minutes around the arrival of the planes with the bodies.