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DONETSK, July 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Three Dutch experts and Ukrainian specialists will arrive on Monday at the site of a Malaysian Boeing 777 crash near the town of Torez in eastern Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Andrei Purgin told ITAR-TASS on Monday, adding that the experts will be accompanied by the republic’s militia.
He said foreign specialists had been welcomed near Donetsk. They would be taken to the site bypassing the city.
Apart from that, Purgin reassured that the Donetsk militia guaranteed security for foreign specialists working at the crash site. “There is a real world where specialists work routinely and there is a world of Ukrainian and Western media where we persistently seek to hamper everyone,” he said.
He also said twelve experts from Malaysia were expected to arrive on Monday. Some of them would accompany the bodies of the crash victims on the way to Kharkiv, where a forensic examination will take place. “Today, 12 specialists from Malaysia will come to Donetsk. Some of them will go to Kharkiv where genetic expertise will be conducted. I hope we will be through with all the works by the evening and at night the train (with a refrigerator car holding the bodies of the crash victims) and experts will set off for Kharkiv,” Purgin noted.
When asked about the situation in Donetsk, he said fierce fighting was underway near the airport. “A tank column is attempting to force its way from the airport in the direction of the railway terminal. There is heavy fire there, sounds of explosions are distinctly heard even in the center of the city,” he said.
Late on Sunday, Sergei Kavtaradze, the chairman of the Donetsk Republic’s Security Council, told ITAR-TASS that rescue teams had found the bodies of 247 out of 298 victims of the Malaysian Boeing-777 crash. He also said that devices resembling flight recorders had been found at the crash site and taken to Donetsk. “We are ready to hand them over to experts from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) who, I hope, will arrive here soon,” he said.
A Boeing-777 of the Malaysian Airlines en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17 in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region 60 km from the Russian border, in the zone of combat operation between the Donetsk self-defense forces and the Ukrainian army. All the passengers and crewmembers onboard the plane died. Travelling aboard the plane were 298 citizens of ten countries, including 193 Dutchmen, 27 Australian citizens and 10 British nationals.