The Dutch prime minister says investigators have recovered an unspecified number of human remains from the site in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down.

Speaking at his weekly press conference in The Hague, Mark Rutte said a team of Dutch, Ukrainian and OSCE rescue workers gained a rare chance Friday to safely reach the spot where the plane's wreckage is scattered.

Access to the site has been hampered by ongoing fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.

The plane went down above a rebel-held area on July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew — most of them Dutch. To date, 284 victims have been identified. Rutte said the remains will be flown back to the Netherlands for identification.