As bodies are moved to the Netherlands, safety remains top concern in Ukraine
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 01:26
International monitors say safety at the crash site remains an impediment to the investigators, even after the first batch of bodies are prepared for flight to Holland. Nathan Frandino reports.
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Malaysian aviation crash scene experts are on the ground in Ukraine.
They're the first international accident investigators to reach the site where flight MH17 was brought down last week.
Even with international monitors and heavily armed separatist fighters, the experts still face danger, especially with new fighting nearby.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) OSCE SPECIAL MONITORING MISSION TO UKRAINE CHIEF MONITOR, ALEXANDER HUG, SAYING:
"A risk remains, as you journalists know, as well, always, in the end. But we take all measures that that risk is manageable, and we would not be here if it would not be manageable for a civilian unarmed monitoring mission."
Some of the 298 bodies have already been transported to Kharkiv.
From there, they will head to the Netherlands, which is leading the investigation into the crash.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF DUTCH CRASH INVESTIGATION MISSION IN UKRAINE, JAN TUINDER, SAYING:
"The first plane will take off tomorrow, and we will continue until the last victim is identified and brought home."
The shooting down of the airliner has sharply deepened the Ukrainian crisis.
Separatist gunmen in the Russian-speaking east have been fighting government forces since March.
That's when pro-Western protesters in Kiev forced out a pro-Moscow president and Russia annexed Crimea.
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