News World Rescuers comb smouldering wreckage

Rescuers comb smouldering wreckage

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Rescue workers, policemen and even off-duty coalminers are combing the area adjacent to the site in eastern Ukraine where a Malaysian jetliner crashed, killing all 298 aboard.

The cause of the crash on Thursday was not immediately clear. Ukraine has accused pro-Russian separatists who control the area of shooting down the plane, a claim they denied. American intelligence authorities said a surface-to-air missile brought the plane down, but were still working on who fired the missile.

Coalminers joined the rescue effort early on Friday morning. Police and rescue teams were combing the area, looking for bodies and debris.

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An Associated Press journalist saw bodies and body parts strewn across the field outside the village of Rozsypne about 4 kilometres away from the crash site.

Meanwhile Ukraine rebels have guaranteed investigators “safe access” to the crash site in territory they hold, negotiators said after talks with the insurgents.

The separatists committed to providing “safe access and security guarantees to the national investigation commission, including international investigators, in the area under their control”, the trilateral Contact Group on the Ukraine Crisis said in a statement, adding rebels would also close off the site and allow local authorities to recover the bodies of the victims.


Earlier, journalists reported seeing bodies, debris and burning wreckage of the Boeing 777-200 strewn over a field near the rebel-held village of Hrabove in the Donetsk region.

The aircraft appeared to have broken up before impact, and there were large pieces of the plane that bore the red, white and blue markings of Malaysia Airlines.

The cockpit and one of the turbines lay at a distance of a kilometre from one another. Residents said the tail was about 10 kilometres farther away.


Rescue workers planted sticks with white flags in spots where they found human remains.

There was no sign of any survivors from Flight MH17, which took off shortly after noon on Thursday from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 283 passengers, including three infants, and a crew of 15.

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