Australian police recovers MH17 human remains

The police also recovered passenger belongings during its first visit to the crash site

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Australian police recovered human remains and passenger belongings from the crash site of MH17 during their first visit to the location, the Australian news agency AAP reported Saturday.

The police team, which spent five hours on the site, was accompanied by dutch investigators and was not armed during its visit, Australian Federal Police national security specialist Andrew Colvin told reporters in Canberra.

All parties involved respected the conditions set to allow safe passage both in and out of the wreckage site and at the wreckage site itself, Colvin said.

However, Colvin admited safety considerations need to be assessed daily. “We won’t take any unnecessary risks.”

While deadly clashes between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian rebels continues, the recovery mission is not under threat, he said, adding that if the conditions remain stable, the mission to recover the bodies should not take longer than seven to 10 days.

Main mission

Speaking about the aim of the team sent to the MH 17 crash site, Colvin said: “The team's focus is purely humanitarian and will not consider gathering evidence to investigate the crash.”

“We are focused on removing the remains and bringing some closure to the families.”

“And as soon as the team has done 'the best we can do, we will get out,” he said.

Bodies and belongings will be taken to the Netherlands for identification.

The Malaysia Airlines passenger jet flying from to Kuala Lumpur was hit by a missile while flying over eastern Ukraine.

The incident caused the death of the 298 people on board, including 38 Australian residents.