THE HAGUE – A Dutch relative of a victim of downed flight MH17 has travelled to the crash site in eastern Ukraine to search for the remains of his missing cousin, Dutch television reported Sunday.
National public broadcaster NOS showed Robby Oehlers (pic) as he searched the burnt remains that still litter the site where the Malaysia Airlines flight crashed on July 17, killing all 298 on board.
Dutch forensic experts have so far identified 278 of the victims, but no trace has been found of Daisy Oehlers, 20, who was on her way to Bali with her friend Bryce Frederiksz, 23 when the Boeing 777 crashed.
German intelligence has accused pro-Moscow rebels of shooting down flight MH17 using missiles captured from Ukrainian government forces, media reported on Sunday.
Kiev and the West had previously charged that MH17 was blown out of the sky by separatist fighters using a BUK surface-to-air system supplied by Russia — charges denied by Moscow.
Oehlers’ family was “angry and frustrated because it’s taking so long” to find her, said the NOS.
“Robby Oehlers therefore decided to visit the site himself and organised it through contact with the separatists,” the broadcaster said.
Four Dutch experts returned to the crash site in pro-Moscow rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine a week ago, but the Dutch government have repeatedly complained that they have not been granted full access.
Dutch forensic experts called off their search of the area in early August because of fighting between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in the area.
Shelling could be heard in the distance as Oehlers inspected a turquoise suitcase that may have belonged to his cousin lying amongst pieces of charred landing gear and engine lying around the site.
“It’s sad to say, but an investigation simply cannot be done at this stage,” Oehlers was quoted as saying. â€“ AFP