Ofcom to investigate Sky News over MH17 crash report

Ukrainian officials at the MH17 crash site The Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels have accused each other of shooting down MH17

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The media regulator, Ofcom, has said it will investigate a Sky News report from the MH17 plane crash site that drew more than 200 complaints.

Live footage from Ukraine, broadcast on 20 July, showed reporter Colin Brazier pluck items from an open suitcase.

He dropped them back into the luggage saying "we shouldn't really be doing this I suppose, really".

A Sky News spokesperson said the channel and Mr Brazier "apologise profusely for any offence caused".

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on 17 July.

All 298 people on board were killed.

The crash left bodies strewn across several kilometres, as well as plane wreckage and passengers' belongings.

Mr Brazier's broadcast showed an array of luggage and personal items, which he described as "holiday paraphernalia", collected on the ground.

Belongings of passengers on MH17 Belongings of passengers on MH17, including books and toiletries

Ofcom said after assessing 205 complaints about the broadcast, it found "there are grounds to investigate under our rule on potentially offensive material".

Ofcom said it would "take relevant circumstances into account, including any action taken by the broadcaster, in reaching a decision".

A Sky News statement from the day after the broadcast said "while presenting from the site of the MH17 air crash Colin Brazier reflected on the tragedy of the event and showed audiences the contents of one of the victim's bags.

"Colin immediately recognised that this was inappropriate and said so on air. Both Colin and Sky News apologise profusely for any offence caused".

The Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels have accused each other of shooting down the passenger jet.

The US and other nations say there is growing evidence of Russian complicity in the crash.

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