MH17: Less urgency for M'sian investigation team to enter crash site

03 Oct 2014 / 17:30 H.

    SEPANG: There is less urgency now for the Malaysian investigation team to re-enter the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine before the winter season begins.
    Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said this is because there are only two Malaysian victims yet to be identified or found.
    The families of the two victims, Siti Amirah Parawira, 83 and Shaliza Zaini Dewa, 45, have been informed about the government's decision, said Hishammuddin.
    "Our efforts to enter the crash site could not be made unilaterally. Every decision must be made together with the Netherlands and Australian government," he said.
    The Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia have been working together to recover the remains of the passengers and to investigate the crash incident.
    He was speaking to reporters at Kompleks Bunga Raya after attending the repatriation ceremony for five MH17 victims whose remains returned today.
    With the arrival of the latest batch, a total of 42 out of 44 Malaysia national has successfully been brought home, including one with dual-citizenship.
    Hishammuddin said Malaysia will discuss with the Dutch and Australian government to decide when is the safest time for the investigation team to re-enter the crash site.
    "There is a risk of entering the crash site as the war between Ukraine government and pro Russian separatist group is still going on and could affect the investigation efforts," he said.
    The Netherlands and Australia are still in the process of recovering the remains of the citizens of their countries who perished in the crash, said Hishammuddin.
    "We are working very closely with the Australian and the Dutch governments. As most of the Malaysian victims have been recovered, it is more important to give some leeway to the two governments to evaluate the risk before deciding to enter the site," he added.
    He said every risk factor must be taken into account before the investigation team is given the green light to enter the crash site.
    "The risk is not only at the crash site but also in the journey to the site. We have been informed that there are landmines that are being planted at the area," he said.
    Meanwhile, transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said so far 262 out of the 298 MH17 disaster victims have been identified with 27 left to be identified and nine yet to be located.
    "We are finalising all of the data and hope all of the remains could be identified as soon as possible," he said.

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