Australia deploys 45 officials to Ukraine in MH17 aftermath

By David Donaldson

Monday July 21, 2014

Australia is sending 45 officials to Ukraine to help deal with the aftermath of the MH17 disaster, with Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston to head up the delegation.

This includes 20 personnel from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 20 Australian Federal Police officers, two Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators and three Defence officials.

The Australian ambassador in Warsaw, as well as a regional consular officer and embassy officials from Moscow, London and Warsaw, have arrived in Kiev. Disaster victim identification personnel will also be involved.

Other specialist teams are on standby for immediate deployment when access to the site is secured. A C17 military transport aircraft is on standby to depart for Ukraine.

Once the crash site can be accessed, Houston will co-ordinate Australia’s consular, diplomatic, disaster and crash site investigation response in Ukraine.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott stated on Friday that each family affected by the disaster had been assigned an officer from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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