The Netherlands said Friday a break in fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists allowed a small team of Dutch investigators to recover more human remains from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The plane was shot down over Eastern Ukraine on July 17. The remains are headed to Amsterdam for analysis. Remains of nine of the 298 people on board the flight have yet to be identified.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed the news in a statement, saying the security situation was safe enough for a team accompanied by a local fire brigade and members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to access the crash site.
â€” Karel van Oosterom (@KvanOosterom) October 31, 2014
Fighting has kept investigators from conducting a thorough investigation of the crash site. Pro-Russian rebels are suspected to be behind the shootdown of the civilian aircraft. The incident raised questions about why airlines were flying over a geopolitical hot spot with known anti-aircraft defense capability. A final report on the fate of MH17 by the Dutch Safety Board is due out by the middle of 2015.