Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dutch, Australian Experts Reach MH17 Debris Field In Ukraine

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has some good news this morning:

Remember, experts from Australia and The Netherlands have been trying to get to the debris field of the downed Malaysia Airlines jet in eastern Ukraine for a week. Every time they attempted a trip, they were thwarted by heavy fighting.

Speaking to CNN, OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said that for the first time senior experts were at the scene of the tragedy to begin their investigation.

Bociurkiw said he was standing at the perimeter of the field and he could still smell the stench of the remains.

It was three weeks ago that the U.S. says Ukrainian rebels fired a missile that downed a Malaysia Airlines 777 carrying 298 passengers. Some of the remains of the dead have already been flown out of Ukraine, but some still languished in that open field.

The team, Bociurkiw said, is prepared to recover those remains.

"We will finally give those remains proper care and dignity," Bociurkiw said.

Giving experts access to the site became an international affair. Earlier this month, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on a resolution that called for unrestricted access to the scene for investigators.

It was just a few days ago that Secretary of State John Kerry denounced the separatists who control that area of Ukraine. He said by continuing their fighting and keeping experts away from the debris field, they "displayed an appalling disregard for human decency."

Bociurkiw told CNN he was confident that the Dutch and Australian experts would now have continued access to the site.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.