News / Europe

Australia Seeks to Secure MH17 Crash Site in Ukraine

Malaysian investigators along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine, examine a piece of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, July 23, 2014.
Malaysian investigators along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine, examine a piece of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, July 23, 2014.
VOA News

Australia has sent 50 police officers to London in anticipation of deploying them to eastern Ukraine to secure the Malaysian plane crash site as part of a proposed international team.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said foreign ministers from Australia and The Netherlands will go to Kyiv to iron out the details of deploying such a team, under U.N. authority, to secure the crash site in rebel-held east Ukraine.

Meanwhile, two more planes are due to take off from Ukraine for the Netherlands, carrying dozens more victims of the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 last week.  All 298 people on board were killed.

Who downed MH17?

Earlier Thursday, Russia called on the United States to prove that the passenger jet was shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.  Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov asked the U.S. to produce proof that it has technical data and satellite photos to back the accusation.

U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that a Russian SA-11 "Buk" missile downed the aircraft and that ill-trained rebels likely fired the missile believing the aircraft was Ukrainian.

Black boxes intact

Meanwhile, investigators have found no evidence that either of the plane's two black boxes were tampered with, the Dutch Safety Board, which is coordinating the probe, said.

In a statement Thursday, the Board said the data from the Boeing 777's flight data recorder had been successfully downloaded by investigators at Britain's Air Accident Investigation Branch.

World leaders had expressed concern that the black boxes, which could contain information critical for reconstructing what brought down the airliner, may have been tampered with by rebels controlling the region in which the aircraft crashed last week.

  • Netherlands Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans (right) speaks to the media while a Dutch military cargo plane with bodies of some of the passengers of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner leaves Ukraine for the Netherlands, July 25, 2014.
  • Netherlands Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, right, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speak to each other as a Dutch military cargo plane with bodies of some of the passengers of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner leaves Ukraine, July 25, 2014.
  • A Hercules transport aircraft of the Royal Dutch Airforce (right) and a Royal Australian Air Force Boeing C-17 are seen at an airstrip before transporting some of the remains of the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 airliner, at Kharkiv airport, Ukraine, July 25, 2014.
  • An Australian military cargo plane with bodies of some of the passengers of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner leaves for the Netherlands from Kharkiv airport, Ukraine, July 25, 2014. 
  • Shoppers take photos next to prayer notes for passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, July 24, 2014.
  • Children walk past a piece of wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines jet downed over Ukraine, in Petropavlivka village, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, July 23, 2014.
  • People attend a silent remembrance for the victims in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, in Amsterdam,  July 23, 2014.
  • King Willem-Alexander, left, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, right, observe a minute of silence during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Eindhoven, Netherlands, July 23, 2014.
  • People pay their respects as a convoy of hearses, bearing remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash, drive past in Hilversum, Netherlands, July 23, 2014.


Long wait for Malaysian remains

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday it might take “weeks or months” before remains of his compatriots who perished in the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine can be brought home.

Malaysia, a majority Muslim country, had initially sought to have the remains returned by July 28 for Hari Raya, also known as Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Forty-three Malaysians died aboard flight MH17 operating from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, including 15 crew.

“We cannot avoid a very painstaking process. This is both the technical requirement and the legal requirement,” Najib told reporters after signing a condolences book at the Dutch Embassy.

“Therefore it is highly unlikely that the bodies can be brought back in time for Hari Raya.”

Identification process

Two aircraft carrying remains of some of the passengers arrived in the Netherlands on Wednesday, where experts will work to identify them with DNA samples collected from relatives. The process could take months.

The remains of the victims will be brought over the next few days to a military base in the Dutch town of Hilversum. 

Tens of thousands of mourners in the Netherlands held memorial services and ceremonies, as the first bodies from Flight MH17 arrived in the country on Wednesday. Of the victims, 193 were Dutch.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

Error rendering storify.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Peter Watson from: Dallas,Texas
July 24, 2014 8:08 AM
Most of our countries are angry at what has happened; but why is Australia becoming the most outspoken of all our countries & governments? I mean; It has no dead in this tragedy. So; why she seem more outraged (more catholic than the pope) than say Netherlands, Canada, United Kingdom or America & Malaysia; whom citizens were the affected. What is the politics behind the Australian PM leading the effort to make Russia accountable for what has happened?

In Response

by: Ryan
July 24, 2014 9:06 PM
Peter, Australia lost 28. More than the US (1), Canada (1) and UK (10) combined


by: Wycliffe from: Nairobi
July 24, 2014 6:13 AM
Yah! Good...good for your "deliberate actions" indeed it's a good/upright decision/plan/idea BUT you've to be wise.Send your men also in a "Plus mission"-learn from around, how to dismantle these foes.This be according to me, if I were in your position.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid