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Dutch minister doubts possibility to find human remains at MH17 crash site

February 17, 2017, 1:02 UTC+3 THE HAGUE

The tragedy killed the citizens of ten countries, most of them Dutch

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© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS, archive

THE HAGUE, February 17. /TASS/. Images and material evidence gathered by Dutch journalists in Donbass do not give enough grounds to think any human remains could still be found at the site of crash of Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH17, the Acting Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, Stef Blok said on Thursday in a letter to the national parliament.

The Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines that was performing a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the east of Ukraine’s Donetsk region amid a raging armed civil conflict there on July 17, 2014. It had 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers aboard. None of them survived.

The Ukrainian authorities will examine the area once again after snow melts away there to verify the possibility of finding human remains and personal belongings of the victims there, Blok said, adding that the Dutch side was ready to assist the process if needed.

He made it clear, however, the Netherlands would not send a new full-scale mission to Ukraine, as the evidence the Dutch experts had studied did not give firm grounds to believe any remains could still be found in the area of the jet’s crash.

Dutch journalists Stefan Beck and Michel Spekkers spent eight days in Donbass at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 interviewing local residents. Michel Spekkers visited the site of the fallout of the debris, human remains and luggage and found there a bone looking like a human one .

Upon arrival in Amsterdam, the two reporters were detained by the Dutch police who confiscated from them the materials gathered in Donbass and all the equipment including storage cards, cameras and cell phones. A Dutch court permitted the police to utilize the information Beck and Spekker had gathered in Donbass.

Testing showed that the bone really belonged to a victim of the tragedy. This prompted the families of victims to demand that the Dutch government send experts to Ukraine.

Michel Spekkers believes that remains of the victims could still be found in the area of the fallout.

The tragedy killed the citizens of ten countries, most of them Dutch.

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