British cable news channel Sky News was forced to apologize after broadcasting reporter Colin Brazier rummaging through the abandoned belongings of those murdered in the shootdown of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine last week.
On Sunday, Brazier was at the scene of the crash, which remains cordoned off by the pro-Russian separatists likely involved in the shootdown. Families of the victims have been unable to visit the scene, and bodies and belonging remain strewn over miles of farmland or stacked in the backs of flatbed trucks.
The Sky News reporter began poking through “the paraphernalia of holiday-making and travel” while broadcasting to a live audience, at one point holding up items from a victim’s suitcase for examination.
“I think it’s a small girl’s bag, isn’t it, by the looks of things,” he said, holding up a bright pink water bottle. “Some keys, toothbrush.”
“We shouldn’t really be doing this, I suppose, really,” Brazier said suddenly, appearing to catch himself.
But the damage was done, with outraged viewers taking to Twitter to vent at the media outlet:
— paul hansen (@paulhansen64) July 20, 2014
— James Moran (@jamesmoran) July 20, 2014
So Sky News been going through dead peoples luggage too? Murdoch filth
— John Lilburne (@PatriotMarc) July 20, 2014
Sky News later issued an apology. “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,” a spokeswoman said. “Colin immediately recognized that this was inappropriate and said so on air. Both Colin and Sky apologize profusely for any offense caused.”
WATCH (video via London’s News Videos):