Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: 70 experts get to work at Ukraine site

Ukrainian soldiers stand guard on July 31, 2014 near the convoy of the OSCE (the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) during their mission to reach the crash site of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, at a check-point in the villag
Ukrainian soldiers stand guard on July 31, 2014 near the convoy of the OSCE (the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) during their mission to reach the crash site of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, at a check-point in the village of Debaltseve, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine. A team of 70 international experts got to work Friday, August 1, 2014, recovering bodies at the crash site of flight MH17 in war-torn eastern Ukraine, the Dutch justice ministry said. -- PHOTO: AFP

THE HAGUE (AFP) - A team of 70 international experts got to work Friday recovering bodies at the crash site of flight MH17 in war-torn eastern Ukraine, the Dutch justice ministry said.

"Dutch and Australian experts arrived at the crash site on Friday morning.... The 70 experts will conduct search operations in several places at the crash site," it said in a statement.

"After yesterday's reconnaissance, we have now managed to get our experts on site," said Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, the Dutch police official sent to Ukraine to head up the mission there.

"If they find human remains while searching, they will immediately be recovered," said Mr Aalbersberg.

Efforts to recover remaining bodies from the crash site have been hampered by fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Over 200 coffins have been sent back to the Netherlands, which lost 193 citizens in the July 17 crash, but many remains have yet to be recovered amid the fighting.

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