Reporter apologises over MH17 story

Last updated 15:22 21/07/2014
Sydney Morning Herald

Sky News apologises after Colin Brazier was shown looking through the personal belongings of an MH17 crash victim.

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Pro-Russian rebels have not been the only ones tampering with evidence from the Malaysia Airlines plane shot down over Ukraine last week.

Sky News presenter Colin Brazier rummaged through a dead passenger's open suitcase at the crash site in a live broadcast yesterday.

Brazier picked up a toothbrush and a set of keys before admitting on camera: "We shouldn't really be doing this, I suppose."

Brazier's actions came as Australia was calling for respect for the 298 dead in the crash.

Viewers were outraged, and there were calls on social media for Brazier to be fired.

Joe Watson, a professor of Mass Media at Baker University in the United States said it was a "horrible moment for journalism."

BBC radio presenter Shelagh Fogarty said: "Sky!! Get your reporter to STOP rummaging thru the belongings at #mH17 crash site. 'We shouldn't really be doing this' NO S*** Sherlock !! Those items are essentially sacred things now for the relatives. Just appalling."

BBC presenter Jacqui Oatley tweeted she was "astonished".

A post by Joey Blower added: "Colin Brazier has interfered with a crime scene in the most distasteful manner.

It must be investigated fully."

Sky News later apologised, saying: "Today whilst presenting from the site of the MH17 air crash Colin Brazier reflected on the human tragedy of the event and showed audiences the content of one of the victims' bags. Colin immediately recognised that this was inappropriate and said so on air. Both Colin and Sky News apologise profusely for any offence caused."

Brazier later gave an account of the human remains at the site.

"I've been walking around, coming across body parts all the time, many of them charred beyond recognition," he said.

"Men, women and children, indeterminate frankly, you can't tell. Very often you are looking at charred spines, that's all that's left."

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