Investigators say they reach Ukraine crash site

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Associated Press

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 6:01 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 31 at 7:31 AM

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — An international team of investigators in eastern Ukraine has for the first time reached the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17.

Fighting along the route to the wreckage site between government troops and pro-Russian separatist rebels had for several days kept the delegation from reaching the area.

An AP journalist at the scene Thursday said it appeared to be under the control of separatist rebel fighters.

Police and forensic experts from the Netherlands and Australia are expected to initially focus their efforts on retrieving bodies still on the site and collect victims' belongings.

It remains unclear exactly how many bodies remain and what condition they are in after being exposed for so long to the elements.

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