Fierce fighting near the wreckage of the Malaysian airliner downed in eastern Ukraine has forced Dutch and Australian investigators to cancel a visit to the crash site, controlled by pro-Russian rebels.
The move came despite a deal that Malaysia said it had reached with the separatists to allow safe access.
“Unfortunately the security situation on the spot and on the road to that site is unacceptable for us and we have taken the decision not to dispatch and deploy today as this would not be an appropriate environment for an unarmed civilian observer mission and for forensic and other experts to be deployed there.” said Alexander Hug, deputy head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s monitoring mission in Ukraine.
“We will try to do all we can to clarify the situation and we will attempt to do the same thing tomorrow, again.”
One of the 298 people on Flight MH17 was Fatima Dyczynski, 25, whose parents have travelled from Australia to grieve at the crash site.
Rebels deny downing the plane with a surface-to-air missile, killing all on board. Russia denies providing any such weapons.