Dutch, OSCE team arrives at MH17 site
A team of ten to 15 experts from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have arrived at the scene of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. The team left Donetsk in the morning accompanied by an armed escort and travel journalists.
The group was expected to begin salvage work of the aircraft, but have not been allowed to as they are still working out details with the Ukrainan SES investigative team, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, the head of the Dutch victims repatriation mission, told broadcaster Nos. Russian news service RIA Novosti says the delay is because the Netherlands does not want to recognize Ukrainian separatist group Donetsk People's Republic in a written agreement with all sides involved.
Instead of collecting the wreckage, the group has spent time trying to find any remains of the 298 people who died in the incident. Remains from 289 of the 298 plane crash victims have been identified, and Aalbersberg is optimistic that there is more to be recovered.
"We have to search a great deal, but we are confident that there are still more remains" at the crash site, he said on television show Pauw.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was supposed to arrive in Kuala Lumpur after departing from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Nearly two-thirds of the victims were Dutch nationals. All victims were memorialized yesterday in a ceremony at the Amsterdam RAI convention center attended by King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, Princess Beatrix and Prime Minister Mark Rutte.