Dutch experts still unable to get to MH17 crash site

Alexander Hug (left), deputy head for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation, looks on next to an armed pro-Russian separatist on the way to the site in eastern Ukraine where flight MH17 crashed, Donetsk, July 30, 2014. — Reuters pic
Alexander Hug (left), deputy head for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation, looks on next to an armed pro-Russian separatist on the way to the site in eastern Ukraine where flight MH17 crashed, Donetsk, July 30, 2014. — Reuters pic

KIEV, July 30 — Dutch police yesterday said it was unlikely they would be able to access the site of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crash in east Ukraine because of on-going combat.

The head of the Dutch recovery mission in Ukraine, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, also said 68 Malaysian experts and police officers were expected in Kiev today to join the group.

The Malaysians will then travel to Kharkiv in east Ukraine, closer to the crash site.

“Unfortunately, we don’t expect the security situation to improve enough over the next few days,” Aalbersberg told reporters in Kiev.

“This makes it less likely that we will reach the crash site in the immediate future. There is still too much fighting in the area,” he said.

Aalbersberg said Dutch police had to scrap plans to visit the site yesterday with Australian police and monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“Tomorrow we will try again from Donetsk,” the rebel bastion in east Ukraine where the international mission is stationed, he said.

The plane with 298 people on board came down on July 17 in an area of east Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists are battling government forces.

The Netherlands, which is leading the crash probe and body identification, lost 193 citizens on the flight. — AFP

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