July 19th, 2014
10:50 AM ET

Malaysia Airlines: Crash Site in Ukraine Goes Neglected as Bodies Decompose

Debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 lay splayed for miles across silent rural fields in eastern Ukraine on Saturday. Two days after the jet crashed, some bodies remained strapped in seat belts - wearing inflight headphones.

Conspicuously missing at the crash site near Torez were international forensic workers needed to secure and sort the wreckage, and a recovery crew to identify and remove with dignity the bodies of the 298 people who were on board MH17.

A few things have been moved. Luggage was stacked in piles; mementos, children's toys were handled. Most everything is unguarded, there for the curious - or for the taking.

But the debris field hasn't changed much overall since it slammed into place from about 30,000 feet in the air. Not like it would change, if investigators had a chance to cordon it off and catalog it.

Plane parts, books, bodies

A round piece of wreckage the size of a small garage - part of the cabin perhaps - stood tilted over personal effects of people heading for vacation. Fields were bestrewn with novels, beach sandals, guide books and colorful carry-on bags.

And all around them were the bodies of their owners, some dressed in shorts and other vacation wear.

With leaders around the world calling for a swift, thorough and professional investigation, in eastern Ukraine, a small group of local government workers camping near the wreckage emerge from their tents in the mornings.

They split up the crash site territory in an orderly manner to look for bodies, said journalist Noah Sneider, who visited the site. The emergency workers mark spots where they find human remains with stakes and tie white rags around them.

There are so many of them. Bodies lie by the roadside, some in fields, some intertwined with parts of the aircraft. And they are spread out so far.

"Half of them are so mangled, you couldn't identify them," Sneider said.

See more on this developing story on CNN.comĀ 

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. damiano

    Only God knows

    July 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  2. jessica

    this is just disgusting, how about the children on board that plane, they now say the plane was considered full of spies as their excuse to shooting it down, for goodness sake man how can children be spies? if you can answer that question rebels then you are just as dirty as the russian president.

    July 19, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Reply

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