KHARKIV (Ukraine), July 22 (Bernama) -- Several members of a special Malaysian team of investigators received the bodies of people who were on board the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 which was believed to have been shot down in Ukraine last Thursday.

The bodies were taken in refrigerated coaches of a train to Kharkiv, about 500km from Kiev about noon (5pm Malaysian time).

Team head, Khairil Hilmi Mokhtar confirmed the arrival of the bodies when contacted by Bernama.

However, the official media personnel, after six hours of waiting since 6am (11pm Malaysian time) were barred from entering the operations area where the bodies would be identified and transferred from the train.

A Kharkiv local government officer said the bodies were taken to a military base before being repatriated.

The team was despatched to Kharkiv, following an announcement by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya Monday night that 282 bodies would be moved by train from Torez to Kharkiv after he had successfully negotiated with Alexander Borodai, who is in command of the region in troubled Ukraine where the tragedy had occurred.

The crash site near Torez is about 300km from Kharkiv.

Najib said the remains would then be flown to Amsterdam on board a Dutch C-130 Hercules, together with the Malaysian team.

Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens would then be flown to Malaysia, he added.

The Malaysian special team comprised 23 personnel from the Special Malaysian Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, 12 police forensic personnel and a transport ministry official. Nine newsmen also accompanied them.

They departed Kiev at 10.30pm Monday (3.30am Tuesday in Malaysia) and arrived at the so-called rendezvous point at 6am Tuesday (11am in Malaysia).

Last night, the Malaysian special investigation team had also received two flight data recorders of black boxes in Donetsk.

Following the success in retrieving the bodies and black boxes, the Malaysian investigation team had concluded transferring its operations to the Netherlands. They will depart to Amsterdam tonight.

MAS Flight MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border on Thursday night.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft was carrying 298 people - 283 passengers and 15 crew.

It is believed the plane was shot down but until today, no one has claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft.