MH17 victim's parents hold hope she's alive
The parents of an Australian woman on board flight MH17 are heading to the plane's crash site in Ukraine saying they believe she is still alive.
George and Angela Dyczynski arrived in Amsterdam early on Thursday morning from Perth, determined to search for their 25-year-old daughter, Fatima.
They were accompanied by Dutch officials when they landed and again hours later when they prepared for their flight to Kiev.
From there they will make their way to Donetsk, the eastern Ukraine region where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed a week ago.
George Dyczynski - wearing a T-shirt with his daughter's face printed on it and the words, "Fatima We Love You" - said he and his wife would travel to the dangerous region believing their daughter could still be alive after her mobile phone rang out after the crash.
"We go today. We've got a connecting flight to Donetsk to the site where the aircraft attack was," he told reporters.
"We believe she's alive. Did you see the CNN report about the mobile phones? So we go. Today we fly to Donetsk and we find her."
Asked if government officials were taking them, he said:
"No, we go on our own. But we have a lot of support of people from the media, the government."
After providing their DNA for investigation purposes upon touching down in the Netherlands, the grief-stricken couple visited the memorial at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport where thousands of flowers and tributes have been laid for the 298 victims.
Following a visit to a hotel for families and friends in Amsterdam, the couple returned to board their flight.
The scene at the departure gate was an emotional one as they bid farewell to the Dutch officials who had assisted them.
Close friends of Fatima were also there - a distraught Ces de la Cruz embracing the Dyczynskis and another unnamed friend wiping away tears as she shared stories of undertaking Bible studies with Fatima.
As the two friends went through the departure gate with the parents, the mood took an unexpected turn as Angela Dyczynski angrily ordered de la Cruz not to speak with media any more or risk being cut out of the family's circle of trust.
Earlier, Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned at a press conference in Canberra about the dangers of travelling to the rebel-controlled area near Donetsk, where he hopes an international police task force involving at least 50 Australian officers will soon be in place to secure the site.
All the victims' remains are being taken to the Netherlands for identification.