Dutch officials returned to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine on Monday in a new bid to recover the human remains and personal belongings of the nearly 300 people killed aboard the downed plane.
Four observers from the Netherlands joined representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor Ukrainian emergency workers Monday as they gathered passports, clothing, children’s toys, and other items from the debris.
Investigators from the Netherlands had called off their search in the area in early August amid nearby clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces. Despite a cease-fire in the area, exchanges of gunfire were heard as investigators combed the crash site Monday.
The plane was shot down July 17 as it flew through rebel-held territory in Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Two-thirds of the 298 passengers and crew members aboard MH17 were Dutch nationals.
Initial findings indicate the plane was hit by an anti-aircraft missile, with Moscow and Kyiv blaming each other for the attack.