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Australian, Dutch police try reaching MH17 crash site

Posted on Jul 28 2014 | IANS

Canberra, July 28 : Australian Federal Police (AFP) along with Dutch police Monday would attempt for the second time to reach the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

The teams were forced to abandon investigating the site Sunday after fighting erupted between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian troops, Xinhua reported.

AFP Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin Monday said the safety of unarmed police teams was paramount.

"As you know the mission was aborted overnight due to the intensity of the fighting occurring on the route into the crash site as well as at the crash site itself," Colvin said.

"The decision was made on advice from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) along with our Dutch colleagues that we wouldn't attempt to gain access to the site last night.

"I recently got off the phone from our commander in Ukraine about the activities expected again for today and again in company with our Dutch counterparts and the OSCE monitors we will attempt again to gain access to the site today."

Colvin said that because of the recent fighting, some remains may not be recovered.

He said that the investigation process could take many weeks because of the challenge of identifying the remains.

Flight MH17, a Boeing 777, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed after being hit by a missile in Ukraine near the Russian border July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.

This is the second major tragedy for Malaysia Airlines this year after flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board went missing while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing March 8. The flight remains untraced till date despite intense international search efforts.

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