Dozens of bodies at Malaysia Airlines wreckage site in Ukraine

Witnesses told RIA Novosti there are several dozen bodies and debris scattered over a one square mile area where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

By JC Finley
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 pictured at take-off in 2007. (CC/Aero Icarus)
1 of 2 | A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 pictured at take-off in 2007. (CC/Aero Icarus)

KIEV, Ukraine, July 17 (UPI) -- Dozens of bodies have been found at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.

The Boeing 777 crashed Thursday near the city of Donetsk, where pro-Russian separatists have been battling Ukrainian armed forces.


Witnesses who spoke with RIA Novosti reported seeing several dozen bodies and plane debris across a square kilometer area.

MH17 disappeared over Ukrainian airspace while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, with 280 passengers and 15 crew members aboard.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The U.S. Department of State said Thursday that it does not yet know whether American citizens were aboard MH17.

Amid suspicion that the plane may have been shot down, U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday, "The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened, and why."

Obama spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in the day as news of the crash was breaking, and Vice President Joe Biden telephoned Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to offer America's help with the crash investigation.


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