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Officials vow to push ahead of MH17 crash investigation

CCTV.com

08-12-2014 07:32 BJT

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THE HAGUE, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The investigation into the cause and circumstances of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 led by the Dutch Safety Board continues in The Hague, the board announced on Monday.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) gives a statement next to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Catshuis on August 11, 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands. Abbott is in the Netherlands for a one-day official visit to talk with Rutte and other Dutch officials about the ongoing investigation into the shooting down of flight MH17.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) gives a statement next to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Catshuis on August 11, 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands. Abbott is in the Netherlands for a one-day official visit to talk with Rutte and other Dutch officials about the ongoing investigation into the shooting down of flight MH17.

The team has relocated to The Hague to continue its work. In recent weeks, an international team of around 25 aircraft accident investigators collected as much investigation information as possible in Ukraine.

The team's efforts will initially focus on the report of preliminary findings, which the Dutch Safety Board aims to publish in a few weeks' time.

The report will contain the first factual findings arising from the investigation based on various sources, such as the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, air traffic control data, radar and satellite images. These data are currently being compared and will subsequently be analyzed.

Due to the changed safety situation on the crash site it is unclear whether the data can be supplemented with information from further investigations at the crash site. To date under Ukrainian supervision only a few investigators were able to briefly visit the crash site immediately after the plane crash.

Since the Dutch Safety Board took charge of the investigation no new opportunity has arisen for the team to visit the crash site. The investigators who were on stand-by in Kharkov and Soledar to travel to the disaster area returned to the Netherlands last week in the light of the deteriorated safety situation in eastern Ukraine and the Dutch government's decision to leave the crash site for the time being.

The Dutch Safety Board will still be represented by a liaison in the Dutch Embassy in Kiev for the purpose of the working arrangements that need to be made with all parties involved.

In addition to the investigation into the relevant facts of the MH17 disaster, the Dutch Safety Board is conducting an investigation into the decision-making process concerning the flight routes and the risk assessment made in choosing to fly over eastern Ukraine.

The Dutch Safety Board is also investigating why the complete passenger list for MH17 was not available immediately.

The Board will not make any statements with regard to the blame or liability for the crash. These issues will not form part of its investigation.

That the investigation team continues to work in The Hague, does not mean that it will no longer go to the crash site. This is still the intention.

On Aug. 6 the Dutch government already decided to stop another mission, the recovery mission on the MH17 crash site, until further notice due to the deteriorating security conditions in the area. This team hopes to return to Ukraine before the winter weather starts in October and investigating the crash site becomes almost impossible.

The Boeing 777 went down on July 17 in Ukraine near the Russian border, killing all 298 people on board.

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