MH17 crash: International experts cancel visit to disaster site amid safety concerns

Fighting was said to have broken out between pro-Russia separatists and government troops

International experts planning to visit the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine have been forced to abandon their plans today, according to OSCE officials.

On-going fighting between pro-Russia separatists and government soldiers has reportedly rendered the trip too dangerous.

Alexander Hug, the deputy head of a monitoring team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said it would be too dangerous for the unarmed mission to travel to the area from its current location in the rebel-held city of Donetsk.

It was not immediately clear where precisely clashes had broken out.

According to the Associated Press, a dozen Dutch policemen in armored SUVs had been travelling to the scene of the disaster to secure the site, which investigators complain has already been compromised.

Rebel interference and security concerns have limited investigators' access to the site. International observers say there are still remains at the scene.

 

There were 193 Dutch, 43 Malaysians and 37 Australians on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 when it was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on July 17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on board. The separatists have been blamed by many in the international community for shooting down the plane.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, Russian President Vladimir Putin faces a potential multi-million pound lawsuit for his alleged involvement in the disaster.

The newspaper reported that  British lawyers are preparing a class action against Putin via the American courts, which may also affect senior persons in the Russian military and politicians.

The families of victims will reportedly be invited to join the legal claim, which Western politicians have no power to prevent.

Malaysia said today that it would send police to the crash site after brokering a deal with separatists to allow international police personnel to provide protection for investigators.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement that he spoke with his counterparts from the Netherlands and Australia, and the three agreed to work together in deploying police personnel to the crash site.

Sixty-eight Malaysian police personnel will leave Kuala Lumpur for the crash site on Wednesday as part of the international deployment, the statement said.

Najib had reached an agreement with rebel leader Alexander Borodai last week to secure the handing over of the plane's black boxes and the remains of the victims, as well as to ensure safe access to the crash site.

In Sunday's statement, Najib said Boradai had “agreed to allow a deployment of international police personnel to enter the crash site.”

“So far, international air crash investigators have been unable to properly deploy across the vast crash site in eastern Ukraine and collect evidence due to on-going security concerns, including continued military activity,” the statement said.

These security concerns may be “preventing full and unfettered access to the site, and therefore a proper, independent investigation from being carried out,” it said, adding that “Malaysia is particularly concerned that some human remains may still be at the crash site.”

Australia said Sunday that it would send unarmed police to the crash site. Eleven Australian police will initially be sent Monday into the debris field, which covers 50 square kilometres (20 square miles), Australian Federal Police Commissioner Tony Negus said.

Additional reporting by agencies

Read more: Investigators discover more human remains
Parents of passenger Fatima Dyczynski arrive at Ukraine site
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power