Shocking carnage at east Ukraine airliner crash site

Shocking carnage at east Ukraine airliner crash site
The Malaysian airliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian militants on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard, a Ukrainian interior ministry official said. Many of the passengers who died when a Malaysia Airlines plane crashed in Ukraine were heading to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.

GRABOVE, Ukraine - Body parts strewn through kilometres of debris, luggage littered down country roads, smouldering remnants of a passenger plane in a cornfield: the terrible carnage at the east Ukraine crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

"These poor people," says shell-shocked local resident Natalia, standing in front of her home near the epicentre of the devastation.

"Do you think they understood anything about this war in Ukraine? Even we don't understand it." In a nearby field the tail fin of the Boeing-777 painted with the colours of Malaysia Airlines lay in a meadow with some of the baggage and personal items of the 295 people on board littered around.

Dozens of brutally mutilated corpses lie among the debris. The torsos of two passengers remain strapped into the charred remnants of their seats.

In the middle of country lane a severed foot bears witness to the ferocity of the disaster. There are no traces of any survivors.

"I don't see how anyone could have come through this," says Oleg, a separatist fighter, adding that he helped collect 13 bodies. "They were in pieces." Eyewitnesses told AFP that there was a loud explosion and the plane appeared to disintegrate in mid-air before debris rained down. People in a village some 9 kilometres away reported finding remnants of the plane.

Some it is still aflame and there is a strong smell of kerosene all around.

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