Tuesday, July 22, 2014
HRABOVE (Ukraine): International monitors who have finally gained full access to the Malaysia Airlines crash site in eastern Ukraine said yesterday the Boeing 777′s cockpit inexplicably had been sawed in half while under the control of Russian-backed separatists.
The monitors said large parts of the cockpit – and every part of the fuselage – were carried off. They said they are not sure why such vital pieces of evidence from the downed plane were tampered with.
Flight MH17, carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members, crashed on Thursday after being hit by what US officials suspect was a surface-to-air missile launched from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
The separatists and Russia have denied shooting down the plane, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
The cockpit was found in a section of the crash site that had been immediately cordoned off during the first two days after the plane went down. Witnesses told USA Today that this was also the area where the first bodies were removed.
The cockpit apparently was cut in half with diesel-powered saws.
On Monday, President Obama had called on Russia to stop the separatists from hampering the crash investigation and allow international experts free access to the crash site.
“The rear part of the aircraft, one of the biggest intact pieces, has definitely been hacked into,” said Michael Bociurkiw, spokesman for the group of international monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
“The separatists are removing evidence from the crash site,” he said.
– USA Today.
- TMIOpposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today praised the prime minister for brokering a deal with pro-Russian rebels to retrieve the remains of the passengers and the black boxes from the MH17 crash site.