MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) - A group of international investigators has for the third time failed to reach the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 due to ongoing fighting in the region, Agence France-Presse reported Tuesday, citing a statement by the Dutch Justice Ministry.
“The group of Dutch and Australian experts did not leave Donetsk for the crash site in east Ukraine. There is currently too much fighting on and around the road to the crash site,” the statement noted.
On Monday, the group consisting of Dutch and Australian aviation specialists and policemen arrived in the city of Torez where the plane crashed on July 17, but refused to work at the crash site due to security concerns. Following the ongoing clashes between Kiev and independence forces, they decided to return to Donetsk.
A spokesman from Ukraine’s National Security Information Center, Andriy Lysenko, claimed earlier that the Ukrainian National Guard gained control over a number of cities in eastern Ukraine, including Torez.
On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot expressed his concerns over the ongoing fighting around the crash site, adding that “it’s not just the separatists, it’s the Ukrainian government as well.”
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with 298 people, including 27 Australian citizens on board, crashed on July 17 near the eastern Ukrainian city of Torez. On July 21, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the “efforts to establish a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines.”
On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed hope that no one would attempt to corrupt the investigation into the crash of the airliner.