MOSCOW, August 2 (RIA Novosti) – International investigators on Saturday cut short a visit to the crash site of the downed Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine amid shelling, Agence France-Presse has reported citing an OSCE monitor.
"We heard at a distance of approximately two kilometers incoming artillery from where we were and that was too close to continue," the agency quoted Alexander Hug, deputy chief monitor with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s mission in Ukraine, as saying.
Hug said the team had agreed earlier with both Kiev government forces and independence supporters to visit the village of Petropavlivka as part of the broader search operation.
The OSCE said that a group of 70 international experts and eight monitors arrived on Saturday at the Boeing crash site.
The group of international experts had been unable to reach the destination for four days amid fighting in the area before they managed to map out an alternative route on July 31.
Malaysia Airlines MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur went down in Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine on July 17. All 298 people on board, including 85 children and 15 crew members, died in the crash.
Ukrainian authorities lay the blame for shooting down the plane on independence supporters. The latter insist they do not have the means to hit a target flying as high as the airliner was.