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'From time to time, we screw up': Sky News reporter on picking up MH17 luggage

Colin Brazier has publicly apologised for the incident.

Source: Sky News via London's News Videos/YouTube

THE SKY NEWS reporter who picked up luggage at the MH17 crash site has apologised for the incident, saying that he ‘screwed up’.

Veteran reporter Colin Brazier has written in the Guardian of how he was overcome with emotion during the report.

“During that lunchtime broadcast I stood above a pile of belongings, pointing to items strewn across the ground,” he explained. “Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a pink drinking flask. It looked familiar. My six-year-old daughter, Kitty, has one just like it.

“I bent down and, what my Twitter critics cannot hear – because of the sound quality of internet replays of the broadcast – is that I had lost it.

It is a cardinal sin of broadcasting, in my book anyway, to start blubbing on-air.

He said that he wasn’t “thinking clearly” and that he “got things wrong”.

Brazier was broadcast live on Sky News picking up items of luggage at the crash scene.

However, he immediately stopped himself and apologised on air, with the station issuing a separate apology later that day.

In today’s piece, he described the scene as “like the set of a horror story… a butcher’s yard”.

“As I type I can smell the nauseating scent of death that clings to me still,” he wrote. “I have seen burned bodies before… but nothing on this scale.”

He said that “understanding the boundaries of decency and taste” are principles of good journalism, but “from time to time, we screw up”.

The incident has since gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube while Braizer was subjected to a torrent of abuse on social media.

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Nicky Ryan

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