News World MH17 search over: Dutch team heads home

MH17 search over: Dutch team heads home

Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Dutch and international investigators have reportedly ended their recovery mission at the crash site of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine nearly one year after it was shot down.

A final flight carrying seven coffins filled with remains is expected to arrive in the Netherlands on Saturday, while a final report into the cause of the crash will be tabled in October.

All 298 people on-board were killed when the plane was shot down over territory held by pro-Russian separatist rebels on July 17 last year.

• ‘Many’ human remains found at MH17 site
• Putin ‘knows the real truth about MH17’

At a press conference in The Hague on Wednesday, mission head Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said while the investigation had been completed, it was possible remains had been missed.

“We can’t guarantee that everything has been found, but we do have the certainty that we have done everything possible,” Mr Aalbersberg said.

Valuable personal items like watches and passports belonging to passengers have also been recovered.

Nearly 300 people were killed in the crash. Photo: AAP

A preliminary report in September concluded the plane had been struck by a large number of “high-energy objects” over territory held by pro-Russian rebels.

The Ukrainian government has blamed Moscow, alleging the Russian government supplied rebels with a surface-to-air missile, but Russian denied the charges.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders in Washington on Thursday and said the focus would now turn to who was responsible.

“Let me say how much we respect the leadership of the Netherlands on the issue of the Malaysia Airlines, MH17,” Mr Kerry said.

“They are leading the investigation and also leading the efforts for accountability, and that is a very significant step.”

Echoing Mr Kerry’s sentiments, Mr Koenders said: “This is a very crucial phase we are in, the repatriation phase has been finalised.”

“Now it’s important that we go in the direction of accountability.”

Thirty-eight Australian citizens were killed in the air crash disaster.

View Comments