MH17 research team return home; area still dangerous, says PM

The 30-strong extra research team dispatched to Ukraine last week to help with the investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airways flight MH17 is returning home because it is too dangerous to visit the crash site.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Friday a team of 20 researchers will remain in the eastern city of Kharkov in the hope that a cease fire can be agreed.

‘At the moment it would simply be irresponsible to send these people into the field,’ Rutte said. Australia and Malaysia agree with this analysis, he said.

In total, 298 people died when the Boeing 777 was apparently brought down by a missile in July. Since then, crash investigators have only had brief access to the crash site because of the fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels.

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