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Malaysia wants to access MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine before winter

September 07, 2014, 20:23 UTC+3 SINGAPORE
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SINGAPORE, September 07, /ITAR-TASS/. A probe team should be back at the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine as soon as possible, before winter sets in, Malaysia’s Minister of Home Affairs Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Sunday.

He said that in several weeks it might already be snowing in the Malaysian Boeing crash area, which would make the fact-finding mission much more difficult. A probe team of 30 Malaysian experts, including police officers, is expected to leave for Ukraine within hours, Hamidi said.

The Malaysian minister said that the team would include divers who would examine a lake in the vicinity of the crash site. It was impossible to reach that lake over the team’s previous mission at the crash site due to combat operations, he noted.

Later on Sunday, Malaysia’s Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein also leaves for Ukraine to discuss issues of ensuring safe access of the investigators to the MH17 crash site.

An international team of investigators had worked at the Malaysian Boeing crash site for less than a week and had to leave the area on August 6 due to security reasons. Malaysia’s Police Chief Ali Abu Bakar said that the experts had managed to inspect less than half of the crash area. They left without taking any fragments away from the crash site.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 which was on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine on July 17. All the 298 people onboard died.

According to preliminary reports, international forensic experts who are trying to identify the crash victims at a military base in the Netherlands have revealed 283 unique DNA samples retrieved from the Boeing 777 crash site. The bodies of 173 passengers have been identified.

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