Dutch officials on Thursday confirmed one of the passengers on flight MH17, the Malaysian Airways plane brought down by a rocket in eastern Ukraine in July, had an oxygen mask around his neck.
The mask has been tested for fingerprints and dna but investigators drew a blank and are unable to say how and when the mask was put in place.
Foreign minister Frans Timmermans told a television talk show on Wednesday evening that one of the victims was wearing an oxygen mask.
He made the shock statement after being accused by show presenter Jeroen Pauw of giving an emotional speech about the last moments of those on board the plane to the United Nations shortly afterwards.
Timmermans said on Thursday he deeply regretted his words and that the last thing he wanted to do was increase the suffering of those left behind.
The victim with the mask is thought to be Australian. His relatives had been informed of the finding but other relatives had not, the public prosecution said.
The plane had 298 people on board, of whom 196 were Dutch. So far 262 of the victims have been identified.
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