More experts finally reach Flight 17 wreckage

Pro-Russian militants block the road behind Dutch and Australian forensic teams on their way to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, July 28, 2014, in Donetsk. Getty

ROZSYPNE, Ukraine -- An international team of investigators in eastern Ukraine on Thursday reached the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17 for the first time.

Fighting along the route to the wreckage site between government troops and pro-Russian separatists had for several days kept the delegation from reaching the area.

In a message on Twitter, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has had a team at the crash site for days, said a new team of monitors had managed to find a different route there and arrive with four Australian and Dutch investigators.

Police and forensic experts from the Netherlands and Australia were expected to initially focus their efforts on retrieving bodies still on the site and collect victims' belongings.

An AP journalist at the scene Thursday said it appeared to still be under the control of separatist rebel fighters.

It remains unclear exactly how many bodies remain and what condition they are in after being exposed for so long to the elements.

A delegation from Russia's state aviation body said Thursday it also hoped to visit the site, an agency spokesman said Thursday.

Sergei Izvolsky told the AP that a delegation of Russian specialists from Rosaviatsiya was due in Kiev Thursday to participate in the investigation.

Representatives of the Dutch and Ukrainian commissions would not comment on the arrival of Russian officials. Continuing fighting has hindered access to the crash site, located in rebel-controlled territory in east Ukraine.

Ukraine's parliament, meanwhile, voted not to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Yatsenyuk had said last week he was resigning after two parties left the coalition supporting him and parliament balked at passing laws he said were essential to fund the country's war against pro-Russian separatists.

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