What Brought Down MH17?

U.S. investigating tragic crash as Ukraine blames pro-Russian rebels.
3:20 | 07/17/14

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Transcript for What Brought Down MH17?
break is stories tonight, right now Israel launching a ground incursion in gaza, explosions lighting up the night sky. Those haunting images from the downed flight 17 vanishing near the border with Russia. On the ground pieces of the fuselage, firefighters on the scene. Here are the latest headlines. 295 souls on board Malaysia flight 17. It was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Disappearing over Ukraine near the Russian border. Tonight U.S. Officials say they know what brought that jet down, a Boeing 777, one of the most reliable planes in the world. ABC's chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross now with the latest on the investigation. Reporter: With the rebels controlling the crash seen, the investigation of what happened and why is already facing serious questions and obstacles that could create a showdown with Russia. Even that dramatic footage of the moment of impact is being questioned as U.S. Officials point fingers of blame at the pro-russian rebels. They ask who happened to have a camera rolling at the precise direction and time the plane was blown out of the sky bursting into flames. Almost immediately the pro-russian rebels moved in to secure and take control of the crash scene and the debris field that stretches over ten miles. A gruesome landscape littered with pieces of Malaysian flight 17 remains and personal belongings of the 295 on board, a tourist guide to Bali unscathed. At the scene was John Wendell, a freelance reporter for ABC news. Reporter: There's blood splattered everywhere and pieces of remains. Reporter: Tonight the rebels claim they have recovered the plane's critical black box data and voice recorders and will send it to Moscow. U.s. Officials say there is evidence the plane was shot down. Shot down, not an accident. Blown out of the sky. Reporter: Hours after the crash, the Ukrainian government posted what were described as audio intercepts of the rebels, first reporting that a military plane had been shot down. Then a short while later, one of the reported militants says it was a civilian plane, spouting profanities as he describes the bodies and belongings, saying there was no sign at all that it was a military plane. U.s. Officials say the working theory that an older model surface to air surface-to-air missile was jierd at the Malaysian by rebels who thought they had targeted a Ukrainian military aircraft. In fact, in the last four days, the rebels had shot down two Ukrainian military aircraft. Tonight a senior intelligence official cautioned that the U.S. Still does not have smoking gun quality evidence that links the crash to a surface-to-air missile or to the rebels. It might turn out that way. They said they can't prove it yet. It could be terrorism but no indication of that. I wanted to go back to something we were talking about earlier. There had been restrictions on air space not far from there. Why was this jet allowed to fly through this dangerous region? That's an important question. There was a restriction planes could not fly below 33,000 feet. They flew at 32,000 feet. This is over a war zone where in the last four days who planes had been shot down. The airlines says there was no restriction and they felt safe. A lot of people scratching their heads. I want to get back to ABC news

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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