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Group of int’l experts leaves MH17 crash site in Donetsk region due to shelling

August 02, 2014, 18:39 UTC+3 VIENNA
About 80 international specialists have arrived at the crash site, including eight members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, and experts from the Netherlands and Australia
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© EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO

VIENNA, August 02, /ITAR-TASS/. A group of international experts working at the MH17 crash site in the east Ukrainian Donetsk region left the area due to shelling on Saturday.

OSCE spokesperson Shiv Sharma said the situation had become dangerous for the experts and they had left the area.

He said, however, that only one group had left while all the others continued working at the scene. Sharma said that search had not been stopped but the situation was volatile and changing rapidly.

About 80 international specialists have arrived at the crash site, including eight members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, and experts from the Netherlands and Australia.

On July 31, at their meeting in Minsk, officials from Ukraine, the OSCE and Russia, and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic agreed to cease fire within the humanitarian corridor used by OSCE monitors to access the crash site.
No incidents have been reported since Thursday when experts returned to the scene after a week-long break.

In the first several days after the accident, members of the local militias found fragments of more than 200 bodies at the crash site. All of them were taken to the Netherlands for identification.

Australian and Dutch experts are looking for the remains of the passengers and their personal belongings to be shipped to the Netherlands. This may take several weeks.

The expert mission consists of 332 members who are to be joined shortly by 68 Malaysian policemen. Up to 100 people will be working at the crash site daily but they will not be conducting the investigation or collecting evidence.

The plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region 60 km from the Russian border on July 17 and as many as 298 people aboard died.

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