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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' 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.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs