Family of MH17 victim still in dark

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IOL CZ dalziel Ex-SA pilot Cameron Dalziel with his wife, Reine, and 14-year-old son, Sheldon.

Durban - Distraught family members of Durban-born MH17 air crash victim Cameron Dalziel are longing to hear news that he is “coming home”.

Responding to media reports, Cameron’s younger brother, Campbell Dalziel, said last night that they had not had any official word of international experts halting their search for body parts on Thursday because of deteriorating security in the area.

Sapa-AFP reported that Dutch authorities had said that increasing tension between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in the area had made it unsafe to continue the search.

Cameron Dalziel was one of the 298 victims on the Malaysian Airline plane MH17 shot down over the Ukraine on the evening of July 17.

“We haven’t heard anything substantial or concrete from authorities, so we don’t know anything about the status of the search,” Campbell said.

Family members had been swabbed for DNA comparative testing a few days after the incident. They were working with South African and British authorities, since Dalziel held citizenship in both countries.

“I just want to get the phone call saying: ‘We’ve found your brother and we’re getting him home.’ All the rest of it, all the news around this, I’ve shut myself off to… I’m just waiting for that call,” said Campbell.

He said Cameron’s wife, Reine, and his two nephews, Sheldon, 14, and Cruz, 4, were “being strong”, but waiting with no end in sight was beginning to take its toll.

“The kids are back at school and doing well. What worries me is they will be back at square one when we have to lay Cameron to rest. We are not getting a chance to get closure.”

A week ago, authorities announced through the Ukrainian Crisis Media Centre that the international task force comprising 101 experts had arrived at the MH17 crash site. The group consisted of 53 experts from the Netherlands, 38 from Australia and 10 from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

“Despite certain provocations, the international task force is working and is trying to fulfil its functions. We hope that everything will be done in the shortest time possible in order to find the bodies of victims and answer the question of what happened in the air above Ukraine. It is also important to return personal belongings,” said Volodymyr Groysman, Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine and head of the government task force for the crash investigation.

At the same time, he announced that Ukraine’s National Bureau for Air Accidents Investigation had approved the preliminary report that would be soon published and sent to the Netherlands for further work.

Groysman also emphasised that the Ukrainian army had been instructed not to conduct any combat action in the 20km zone around the crash site.

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