Investigators Reach Ukraine Crash Site 07/31 06:43
ROZSYPNE, Ukraine (AP) -- An international team of investigators in eastern
Ukraine on Thursday reached the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17
for the first time.
Fighting along the route to the wreckage site between government troops and
pro-Russian separatist rebels had for several days kept the delegation from
reaching the area.
An AP journalist at the scene Thursday said it appeared to be under the
control of separatist rebel fighters.
Police and forensic experts from the Netherlands and Australia are expected
to initially focus their efforts on retrieving bodies still on the site and
collect victims' belongings.
It remains unclear exactly how many bodies remain and what condition they
are in after being exposed for so long to the elements.
A delegation from Russia's state aviation body said Thursday it also hoped
to visit the site, an agency spokesman said Thursday.
Sergei Izvolsky told the AP that a delegation of Russian specialists from
Rosaviatsiya was due in Kiev Thursday to participate in the investigation.
Representatives of the Dutch and Ukrainian commissions would not comment on
the arrival of Russian officials. Continuing fighting has hindered access to
the crash site, located in rebel-controlled territory in east Ukraine.
Ukraine's parliament, meanwhile, voted not to accept the resignation of
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Yatsenyuk had said last week he was resigning after two parties left the
coalition supporting him and parliament balked at passing laws he said were
essential to fund the country's war against pro-Russian separatists.