Investigators reach Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site

After nearly a week of fighting surrounding the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in restive eastern Ukraine, international investigators regained access on Thursday.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   July 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM

KIEV, Ukraine, July 31 (UPI) -- International investigators regained access to the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site on Thursday, after nearly a week of rebel fighting in the area.

The Dutch Safety Board is leading the investigation, joined by investigators from Australia and representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile on July 17 over an area of Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists. The Ukrainian government has been attempting to re-take control of the area, and entered into an agreement with Australia and the Netherlands to provide civilian police to secure the crash site.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced Tuesday the implementation of a unilateral cease-fire in a 20-kilometer radius of the crash site. According to the president's press service, Poroshenko "expects that the OSCE will use its influence on terrorists' ceasing fire in a 20-kilometer radius as well."

It is unclear whether the cease-fire facilitated the investigators' access to the crash site.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Germanwings pilot Lubitz buried quietly amid investigation
Russia investigates legality of 1991 recognition of Baltic independence
South Korea fires warning shots at boat from North
Islamic State re-captures part of key Kurdish-held border town in Syria
North Korea raises alarm over violent crime