Ukraine plane crash

Added On July 20, 2014

First we have the latest on Malaysian airliner crash.

On Saturday, the Donetsk insurgent leader denied earlier claims that the black boxes belonging to the plane had been found.


The Boeing 777 jet was flying over the rebel-held region when it was reportedly hit by a missile on Thursday.


Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said they had not touched the site where the passenger flight crashed. However, they reserved the right to begin the process of taking away the bodies since the bodies had already started to decompose in the scorching summer heat.




"Flight recorders haven't been found yet, because we don't touch the crash scene. This is what the OSCE mission is insisting on. Their experts should come and look for the flight recorders."


Borodai said 14 representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) arrived at the site on Friday to conduct an official inspection.


He is said to have held talks with the OSCE representatives and the two sides agreed to set up a security zone at the site in order to facilitate the investigation. Borodai said he had urged experts to carry out investigations as soon as possible.




"We are interested in the maximum depth and objectivity of the investigation of circumstances of this incident. However, we are not seeing any signs of goodwill from the international community in this respect and we also don't see experts here yet. We are extremely surprised by this fact and, to be honest, we are outraged. While we are waiting for the experts to come, the scene has to remain untouched."




This came after Kiev accused insurgents of destroying evidence from the plane wreckage.


Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said insurgents in eastern Ukraine had barred government experts from collecting evidence and threatened to detain them.


Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesperson told media that anti-Kiev militia had been obstructing investigations. 




"The militants are not providing us with the chance to take evidence from the site and they are not letting our rescuers operate out of their sight. Our rescuers are working under the observation of the armed people who control that nothing is taken by them. All evidence that is found is taken away by the militants."




Meanwhile, the Malaysian Transport Minister said Saturday that the flight path of the crashed MH17 was set out by the international aviation authorities. It was approved by Eurocontrol and had been used by other airlines. He emphasized that it had not at any point strayed into restricted airspace.


SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): LIOW TIONG LAI, Malaysian Transport Minister


"Interfering with the scene of the crash risks undermining the investigation itself. Any actions that prevent us from learning the truth about what happened to MH17 cannot be tolerated. Malaysia calls for all parties to protect the integrity of the crash site, and to allow the investigation to proceed."


Liow Tiong Lai said Malaysia's task force arrived in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine earlier on Saturday, and he would also go to Kiev.


He told media that the Malaysian authorities had asked for an independent investigation team to be formed to ensure the investigation work conducted is fair and objective. 


In addition, the minister said it appeared that the plane had been shot down by a missile.