The Hague, March 21: A team of 12 Dutch officials left for Ukraine on Friday to gather new evidence on last year's crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in areas previously considered unsafe owing to the fighting between rebels and government forces.
The Dutch ministry of security and justice announced that the team would remain in the area in eastern Ukraine until at least March 28. The team is preparing the resumption of the Dutch repatriation mission next month.
The MH17 Malaysia Airlines flight crashed on July 17 last year, killing 298 people on board, of which 295 persons have so far been identified. The majority of the people on board the doomed flight were Dutch citizens.
The Dutch team will inspect an area northwest of Petropavlivka, previously inaccessible owing to the difficult security situation.
The team will be working together with the authorities in the town of Kharkiv -- where the plane's wreckage has been collected -- along with other villages, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.
On Thursday, Dutch RTL Nieuws claimed to have evidence that flight MH17 was taken down by a missile.
MH17 Malaysia Airlines flight crashed on July 17 last year
The television station would hand over its evidence to the Dutch Safety Board, which stated that the material found would be included in the investigation.
"In the investigation of the accident to flight MH17, the Dutch Safety Board wants to be able to confirm a final conclusion against multiple sources," the Board said in a statement.
The Dutch Safety Board expects to publish a final report on the cause of the MH17 crash within a year after the crash.
In September 2014, the agency issued a preliminary report, stating that the crash had an external cause, probably the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects penetrating the aircraft from outside.