Australian and Dutch investigators have failed for a third consecutive day to reach the MH17 crash site because of fierce fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday.
Abbott, who met with the national security committee in Canberra, said that it was a “confused situation on the ground”, Xinhua reported.
“There is fighting and it’s not just the separatists, it’s the Ukrainian government as well,” Abbott said.
He said that both sides had made a commitment to using “their best endeavours” to get the site safe enough for the Dutch-Australian team.
“And it’s high time those commitments were honoured,” Abbott said.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) said the situation was too risky after they encountered shelling on approach to the crash site.
The forensic teams are now caught in the middle of a war surrounding them in the city of Donetsk.
There are still human remains and important forensic information to be retrieved from the crash site.
Flight MH17, a Boeing 777, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed after being hit by a missile in Ukraine near the Russian border July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.
This is the second major tragedy for Malaysia Airlines this year after flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board went missing while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing March 8. The flight remains untraced till date despite intense international search efforts.