Body Parts, Debris Scattered Across Malaysia Airlines Wreckage Site

PHOTO: A group of people are pictured looking at the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 18, 2014 in Grabovka, Ukraine.
Share
Copy

The smell hits you before you see it.

Jet fuel and death.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 came down in pieces on Thursday in this small town in eastern Ukraine near the border with Russia.

Indiana Student, American, AIDS Workers Among Malaysia Plane Victims

Malaysia Airline Plane Downed in Ukraine, Witness Says 'Bodies Everywhere'

Near the tail, the wreckage is still smouldering. Open luggage lies next to burned bodies. They're roasted a shiny bright pink. If you look away fast enough you can almost fool yourself into thinking they are plastic mannequins.

PHOTO: People inspect the crash site of Air Malaysia flight MH17 near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine, July 17, 2014.
Dmitry Lovetsky/AP
PHOTO: People inspect the crash site of Air Malaysia flight MH17 near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine, July 17, 2014.

Almost. It eventually hits you hard in the gut.

Further down the road, the biggest part of the plane landed in what was a wheat field. Here almost nothing survived the inferno. It's just ash and scraps of metal.

The charred ground crunches underfoot. A long splinter of the fuselage lies awkwardly with the windows facing up. On top, someone placed a single rose and a candle.

Just beyond is part of the landing gear. Across the field is a warped engine turbine.

PHOTO: A Ukrainian police officer searches for human remains from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 18, 2014 in Grabovka, Ukraine.
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
PHOTO: A Ukrainian police officer searches for human remains from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 18, 2014 in Grabovka, Ukraine.

The scraps of metal appear violently torn apart -- sharp, jagged edges.

Somehow some things survived. A tour book for Bali. A child's backpack. A reminder of just how evil this act was. They make you think about the innocent bodies again.

The site is guarded, but not fully protected.

Rebels pace the road, patting their AK-47s. They size up arriving journalists, demanding documents. But then they let you alone to wander the wreckage. They denounce the Kiev "junta" and scoff at President Obama's claim they are responsible for this carnage. They insist the Ukrainian military did it.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...