الثلاثاء , مايو 18 2021

British crash experts due in Ukraine


The OSCE officials say they were only allowed limited access to the crash site

UK experts are due in Ukraine to assist with the inquiry into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is joining the probe into how the plane crashed on Thursday, killing 298 people, including 10 Britons.

Number 10 said the prime minister and US president discussed the “increasing likelihood” a missile was fired from an area held by pro-Russian rebels.

Potential new sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine was also raised in their call.

Following the phone call between Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama, a Downing Street spokesman said: “They discussed their respective assessments of the incident…

“They both agreed that an independent investigation must get under way as soon as possible and that all countries should engage to ensure that pro-Russian separatists grant investigators secure and unhindered access to the crash site. Those responsible must be held to account.

Flowers have also been placed outside the Netherlands Embassy in London

International investigators are yet to be allowed access to the crash site

“They also discussed the further steps taken by the US and EU this week to make clear to Russia that there will be costs if they do not substantively engage in a peaceful resolution to the crisis.”

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office says extra consular staff are in Ukraine while the Metropolitan Police aims to send specialist officers to the country to assist with the repatriation of bodies.

The six AAIB investigators are due to arrive in in Kiev later on Saturday.

‘Gifted academic’

The latest figures released by Malaysia Airlines show the Boeing 777 was also carrying 192 Dutch nationals, 27 Australians, 44 Malaysians (including 15 crew), 12 Indonesians, along with a number of other nationalities.

Among the British passengers believed to have died in the crash were:

  • Newcastle United fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who were travelling to New Zealand to watch the football team’s pre-season tour of the country and described by the club as among their “most loyal supporters”
  • Glenn Thomas, 49, a press officer for the World Health Organization travelling to an international conference on Aids in Australia and who colleagues said would be “remembered for his ready laugh and his passion for public health”
  • Ben Pocock, a student at Loughborough University, who had been heading to Australia to study, and whose family were said to be “devastated” by his loss
  • Richard Mayne, a student at Leeds University, originally from Leicestershire, whose death attracted a wide range of tributes from his former school and university as well as Market Bosworth Rugby Club whom he played for
  • Cameron Dalziel, who was born in Zimbabwe and lived in South Africa, but was travelling on a British passport.

Tributes have been paid on social media sites to University of Leeds student Richard Mayne

Glenn Thomas was travelling to Australia for an international conference

Ben Pocock studied business at Loughborough University

The tributes to John Alder and Liam Sweeney outside Newcastle United’s ground have been growing

Mr Pocock ‘s family said in a statement: “He was a gifted academic, talented athlete but more importantly a warm, caring, fun-loving son and brother who had an extremely bright future ahead of him.”

Mr Sweeney’s father Barry said he had been unable to find out what had happened via official channels and only discovered his son had died from a tribute from Newcastle United on its website.

Newcastle’s players are to wear black armbands for both their games against Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand.

Phone call

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed between Krasni Luch in Luhansk region and Shakhtarsk in the neighbouring region of Donetsk after it was believed to have been hit by a surface-to-air missile.

The United Nations Security Council on Friday approved a statement calling for a “full, thorough and independent international investigation”.

But a team of 25 international observers from the OSCE say pro-Russian rebels have limited their access to the wreckage.

The two sides in Ukraine’s civil conflict which broke out earlier this year have accused each other of shooting down the jet with a missile. Ukraine accuses Russia of aiding and arming rebels seeking closer ties to Moscow.

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