A scene of absolute devastation lay in a wheat field in eastern Ukraine, a reminder of the shocking tragedy that occurred mere hours ago.
A report in The New York Times has divulged new detail of the wreckage currently occupying a sparsely-populated area of Ukrainian farmland.
According to witnesses, many of the bodies lay largely intact on the charred earth.
Fire engines and emergency vehicles lined the the road to the crash site, which sits close to the Russian border, as separatist militiamen wandered around the debris urging bystanders to take photos.
“A woman in a black sweater lay on her back, blood streaming from her face, her left arm raised as if signalling someone,” the report details.
“Another victim, naked except for a black bra, lay on the field, her gray hair mixing with the green grass, one leg broken and her body torn.”
The Guardian also describes the “twisted metal” of the plane, with “the body of what appeared to be a young woman flung about 500m from the centre of the crash”.
The paper quoted a separatist rebel identified only as “Sergei”, who said he helped with the rescue effort. “It was horrible,” he said, “We were in shock.”
Pieces of the plane were scattered across the road and field over an area of more than 10 square kilometres, the newspaper reported. Eyewitnesses said the pilot had not attempted an emergency landing; the plane appeared to fall apart in the sky, they said.
“Many of the victims were still in their seatbelts, attached to pieces of the plane,” the paper reported.
“One man, still in his socks but without pants, lay akimbo on the field, his right arm placed on his stomach as if in repose.
Others had personal belongings nearby. A young man in blue shorts, wearing red Nike sneakers but no pants, lay with his arms and legs splayed outward, his iPhone by his side.”
Local coal-miner, Oleg Georgievich, 40, told the paper he had heard noises shortly after 4 p.m. and thought the town was being bombed.
He heard a sound like a whistle, then walked onto to his balcony on the fifth floor and saw something falling from the sky. Then he saw things that looked like pieces of cloth coming fast toward the earth. They were bodies, many with their clothing torn off.
Rescue workers said they counted many children. A boy who looked to be around 10 lay on his side in the grass in a red T-shirt that read “Don’t Panic.”