Investigators found more remains of MH17 victims at the crash site Saturday. The remains were sent to Kharkiv and will be transported to the Netherlands for identification. The international team of investigators had access to the crash site Sunday as a local cease-fire continues to hold despite fighting at the edge of the city of Donetsk.
The Associated Press reports the remains were sent to Kharkiv in refrigerated trucks and the investigators are continuing to search the MH17 crash site for the remains of 80 bodies. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE, said the investigators had access to the crash site and will search a field near the village of Rozsypne.
— СММ ОБСЄ в Україні (@OSCE_SMM) August 3, 2014
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Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, head of the search team, said the team focused on a chicken farm near the village of Grabavo Saturday.
“The 70 police officers and experts continued to search the area around the chicken farm near the village of Grabovo," Aalbersberg said in a statement. "Today [Saturday] they were aided in their efforts by two sniffer dogs. Yesterday [Friday], they managed to cover a five-by-five-meter [269-square-foot) demarcated patch of ground in two hours. Today, because they had more time, the experts were able to comb through a bigger area. They again found human remains and personal belongings.”
As investigators continue recovery efforts, heavy fighting has been reported around the city of Donetsk as Ukraine looks to take over the city currently controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Six civilian casualties were reported on Sunday as fighting continued around Donetsk and Luhansk, Reuters reported.
MH17 was shot down July 17 in the separatist-controlled region of Donetsk, with the U.S. State Department saying separatists accidently downed the plane using a surface-to-air missile system. The fighting has hindered recovery efforts at the crash site but a local cease-fire over the last few days has let investigators conduct thorough searches at the site.