Sunday 21 January 2018

Malaysia 'deeply concerned MH17 crash site not secure'

Malaysia is "deeply concerned" that the site in Ukraine where a Malaysia Airlines plane with 298 people on board was shot down "has not been properly secured", the country's transport minister has said.

Liow Tiong Lai said at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur that "the integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place".

He called for immediate access for Malaysia's team at the site to retrieve human remains.

"We need the support of the world to ensure that the site is not tampered, that we have access to the site," he said.

Mr Liow, who again defended Malaysia Airlines' flying in Ukrainian airspace, said a Malaysian team arrived in Kiev earlier today, two days after the plane went down.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines said it has no immediate plans to fly the relatives of the 298 passengers and crew killed in the downing of flight MH17 to Ukraine to visit the site because of security concerns.

A spokesman for the airline said next of kin are being cared for in Amsterdam while a team from the carrier, including security officials, assess the situation.

He said the team were trying to travel "500 kilometres through difficult territory" to reach the area where the wreckage of the Boeing 777 landed.

In the Netherlands, travellers flying out of Schiphol Airport laid flowers and signed a book of condolence before boarding their flights, including today's Malaysia Airlines flight 17 to Kuala Lumpur.

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