Investigators may reach MH17 crash site Tuesday

Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg
Dutch police commissioner Aalbersberg, leader of the repatriation mission. Source: Twitter/Karel van Oosterom/@KvanOosterom. Dutch police commissioner Aalbersberg, leader of the repatriation mission. Source: Twitter/Karel van Oosterom/@KvanOosterom

The investigative team in eastern Ukraine may finally be able to reach the site of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash today, after earlier attempts were called off due to safety worries. If the security situation allows, then the Australian and Dutch experts may be able to enter the area. A decision will be made in the morning.

In a press conference, head of the repatriation mission, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said that an attempt on Monday to get into the area where the plane crashed was put on hold as "there was shooting in the vicinity of Shakhtersk." In negotiation with the OSCE, the group decided to return to Donetsk.

The team, made up of 38 Dutch and 11 Australian experts, will today make a third attempt to get to the eastern Ukrainian territory where they hope to clear the area of any human remains or personal belongings of the flight victims, which will be stored immediately awaiting transport. "We are not leaving any human remains behind", Aalbersberg says.

A train loaded with personal items of victims is standing in Torez. Aalbersberg hopes that this train can be accessible to the investigation team so that it can be inspected and moved as quickly as possible.

Aalbersberg is "very disappointed" that it has been made so difficult for the international team to reach the site. "The colleagues in Donetsk are very driven and motivated to go to the crash site. They came from The Netherlands as quickly as possible for this mission. It is frustrating for them to wait so long before they can get started."

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