July 31, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Rebels Won't Let Observers Near Flight 17 Crash Site
ABC News


UPDATE: On Thursday, OSCE SMM monitors reached the MH17 crash site for the first time in almost a week, accompanied by several Dutch and Australian experts.  They used a new route to access the crash site after turning away each day amid fierce fighting in the region.

A Russian team of experts also arrived in Kiev Thursday with plans to reach the wreckage, according to Russian media reports.

A rebel leader was quoted by Interfax Thursday denying reports Wednesday that seperatists had placed mines around the crash site cutting off access to investigators.

(UNITED NATIONS) -- Pro-Russian separatists are still keeping international observers away from the area where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed two weeks ago, killing all 298 on board.

A team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was not allowed to visit the site Wednesday.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters that it is imperative that observers access the crash site to investigate key evidence.

Furthermore, the bodies of some victims have not been located and it's feared the hot weather will deteriorate their remains.

Adding to the crisis are fears that anti-government rebels have booby-trapped the area with land mines that would put the lives of observers in danger.

It has been alleged by Ukraine, the U.S. and other Western nations that the rebels shot down Flight 17 with a surface-to-air missile provided by Russia.

However, a poll conducted in Russia found that 82 percent of respondents feel Ukraine's military downed the passenger jet.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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