Dutch want unrestricted access to crash site

Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans has insisted that Dutch forensics teams should have unrestricted and safe access to the site in East Ukraine where Malaysian air flight MH 17 crashed yesterday.

A press release from Foreign Affairs said Timmermans has offered the services of the Dutch National Team Forensic Research LTFO that could help with the identification of victims. He and his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin (Foreign Affairs) have agreed that rescue workers should have unhindered access and that the site should remain intact for the investigation

“A pitch black day for the Netherlands and for Malaysia. We mourn everybody on board the flight, no matter where they came from,” Timmermans said last night. He has stressed for objectivity in the investigation into what lead to the plane crash. Klimkin has not only agreed to Dutch participation in the investigation but also welcomed it, the release said. Both Ministers have called for the support of all involved.

Foreign Affairs has appointed a crisis team at its office in The Hague; relatives of victims may call (070) 348 77 70 with their questions, said the release. A consular support team will leave for Kiev to reinforce the embassy there.

At least 154 Dutch nationals were among the 298 people that perished in the crash, though more than 40 victims' nationalities have not been identified as of Friday morning. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has interrupted his vacation to return to the Netherlands. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has meanwhile denied that the Ukranian military had any involvement in bringing down the aircraft, after reports surfaced that the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur had been shot down. 

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