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Eighty Dead Bodies Still Scattered around MH17 Crash Site, Australia Says

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | August 1, 2014 2:40 PM EST

The dead bodies of at least 80 of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 passengers might still be scattered around in Ukraine, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop claimed. There have been further suspicions that Russia is playing a key role behind the separatists to prevent an official investigation to take place.

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Cows graze near the wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk region July 26, 2014. Nearly 300 people, 193 of them Dutch citizens, were killed when the Malaysia Airlines plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down in eastern Ukraine, where separatists are battling government forces, on July 17.

Bishop said that she feared that Russia was playing a major role to hinder proper investigation of the crash site.

"My great fear is Russia is actively undermining this process," she said. "We learned today that there could be the remains of up to 80 bodies on the site."

The July 17 crash, which killed 298 international passengers, allegedly took place after pro-Russian rebels shot it down with a missile. Along with Australia, the United States and the European Union too have blamed Russia for helping the separatists.

Bishop talked to CNN on Thursday, July 31 and said that the exact figure of the bodies which had been left alone would not be known until a team of officials could reach the crash site for investigation.

"But we won't know until our investigative teams are on the site and combing the crash site for remains," Bishop said. "And that's the grisly and sobering task that they must undertake from now on."

International investigators earlier failed to reach the crash site after Ukraine issued landmine warning on the road to the crash site. Even though there was no mention of the landmine warning, the Dutch officials called off the trip citing security reasons and unsafe conditions.

Most of the deceased passengers on board were from Australia, UK, Malaysia and the Netherlands.

According to the monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe who managed to reach the crash site through an alternate route, bodies are still scattered around the site. Several belongings of the victims too are scattered across the debris.

The investigation is expected to take place on Friday, August 1. Aerial surveillance as well as cadaver dogs may be used for the investigation.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin / )
Cows graze near the wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk region July 26, 2014. Nearly 300 people, 193 of them Dutch citizens, were killed when the Malaysia Airlines plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down in eastern Ukraine, where separatists are battling government forces, on July 17.
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