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MH17 victim not identified month later

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 13, 2014

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The body of a man, from Keynsham, near Bristol, has still not been identified nearly a month after the plane crash that killed him.

The Foreign Office said it was "unaware" if Ben Pocock had been identified but said identification of victims involved in the Ukrainian crash was still ongoing.

Twenty-year-old Ben was on board Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which crashed over Ukraine on July 17.

The former Wellsway School pupil was on his way to the University of Western Australia in Perth for a six-month study placement. It is widely believed the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile operated by Russian-armed rebels, but they blame the Ukrainian government.

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And in the last three weeks it has been reported Dutch investigators have faced problems getting to the conflict-ridden crash site.

But yesterday it was reported the last of the Netherlands forensic team had returned home from the crash site after saying they no longer needed to be based in Ukraine.

While experts caution the investigation could take years, an early report on the plane's black boxes, which are being investigated in Britain, is set to be released on Monday.

The black boxes may be able to verify whether the plane was hit by a missile, but some experts have raised doubts over how much these recordings will be able to reveal. Stewart John, a former president of the Royal Aeronautical Society, told the Daily Mail: "The most you're going to get is an explosion, and there's nothing in my mind that could prove useful."

The Malaysian transport minister yesterday said that belongings of the victims of flight MH17 are to be returned after identification and examination. Ben's devastated parents were believed to have been flown to Ukraine during the weekend after the incident, along with families of the ten other Britons killed in the disaster. In a statement his family previously said: "Ben was a gifted academic, talented athlete but more importantly a warm, caring, fun-loving son and brother who had an extremely bright future ahead of him.

Ben, who was an extremely talented sportsman, had previously attended St John's Primary School in Charlton Park and had a close group of friends many of whom went through secondary school and sixth form with him.

The group called themselves The Band of Brothers and planned to travel to America and follow Route 66 once they'd all finished university. The group now plan to complete the challenge in Ben's memory.

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