Sky News has officially apologised after showing footage of one of its reporters, Colin Brazier, rummaging through a victim’s luggage at the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crash site in Ukraine.
During a live broadcast the reporter was shown picking up items – including a toothbrush and keys – out of what appeared to be a girl's suitcase before saying: ‘We really shouldn’t be doing this, I suppose.’
A Sky News spokeswoman said: "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."
The incident comes amid concerns from investigators that the crash site has been contaminated by the presence of locals, international media and pro-Russia separatists.
Brazier later described the crash scene and that he had witnessed scores of human remains at the site.
He said: "I've been walking around, coming across body parts all the time, many of them charred beyond recognition. Men, women and children, indeterminate frankly, you can't tell.
"Very often you are looking at charred spines, that's all that's left. There are flies. It is hot. There are stretchers lying by the roadside. They have not been used because many of the bodies were dismembered by the forces of the impact. It is a truly macabre, horrific situation."
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was bound for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it crashed in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. It is believed to have been hit by a surface-to-air missile. All 298 people on board died in the incident.