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Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

What we know, and don't, 1 day after Ukraine airplane crash

By John-Thor Dahlburg, Associated Press

Published: Fri, July 18 12:00 a.m. MDT

 A Pro-Russian fighter stands guard at the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Hrabove, Ukraine, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 18, 2014. Rescue workers, policemen and even off-duty coal miners were combing a sprawling area in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border where the Malaysian plane ended up in burning pieces Thursday, killing all 298 aboard.

A Pro-Russian fighter stands guard at the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Hrabove, Ukraine, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 18, 2014. Rescue workers, policemen and even off-duty coal miners were combing a sprawling area in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border where the Malaysian plane ended up in burning pieces Thursday, killing all 298 aboard.

(Dmitry Lovetsky, Associated Press)

BRUSSELS — One day after the crash of a Malaysian jetliner carrying 298 people in eastern Ukraine, here's what is known, and what has been claimed:

THE CAUSE

U.S. officials and an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister have said a surface-to-air missile brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 as it flew Thursday from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people aboard died. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the U.N. Security Council in New York on Friday the missile was likely fired from a rebel-held area near the Russian border. Independent aviation experts have agreed a missile was the likely cause, but so far, there's been no proof. Ukraine's government, the pro-Russia rebels who oppose it and Russia have all denied shooting down the passenger plane. The official investigation into the crash and its cause has only begun.

THE "BLACK BOXES"

The whereabouts of the plane's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder remained unknown Friday. The rebels gave conflicting reports about whether they had found them. Russia's foreign minister said his country had no intention of acquiring them and that they should be given to international aviation organizations. Experts in air accident investigations said the boxes' contents could be key to establishing what happened to the Boeing 777 in the moments before it crashed. The thud of a missile hit or the acoustic shock wave emitted by an explosion could have been picked up by the cockpit recorder, they said.

THE INVESTIGATION

According to international civil aviation regulations, Ukraine should take the lead in investigating an air crash on its territory. Ukraine has called for an international probe, and the United States has offered to assist. But access to the site in rebel-held lands 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Russian border remained difficult and dangerous Friday. It was still uncertain whether the rebels would allow Ukrainian government officials to pass through their checkpoints. A spokeswoman for Ukraine's emergency services accused rebel militiamen of interfering with recovery operations.

THE VICTIMS

By midday, 181 bodies had been recovered, according to emergency workers. A Ukraine Foreign Ministry official said remains of the dead would be taken to government-controlled Kharkiv for identification. Andrei Purgin, a leader of the pro-Russian separatists, said the bodies will be taken to the Black Sea city of Mariupol, also controlled by the government. Malaysia Airlines and relevant governments said the passengers included 192 Dutch, 29 Malaysians, 28 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Vietnamese, three Filipinos and one person each from the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong. These likely include some with dual nationalities. Some passengers were researchers and activists heading to an AIDS conference in Australia, news that sparked an outpouring of grief across the scientific community. Among them were the well-known Dutch researcher and former president of the International AIDS Society, Joep Lange, and World Health Organization spokesman Glenn Thomas, based in Geneva. Malaysia Airlines regional vice president Huib Gorter told reporters at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport the carrier was making an initial payment of $5,000 to families of all victims to cover their immediate costs.

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Recommended
1. jsf
Centerville, UT,
July 18, 2014

and the BO defense starts before any accusations. Per his press secretary, the world is more tranquil since BO. Where what region, Canada? Please name one area that has an increase in tranquility since BO?

Ok I will name one, Crimea. Any others?

2. FT
salt lake city, UT,
July 18, 2014

@JSF
"and the BO defense starts before any accusations. Per his press secretary, the world is more tranquil since BO. Where what region, Canada? Please name one area that has an increase in tranquility since BO?
Ok I will name one, Crimea. Any others?"

America is the first country that comes to mind, unless you've forgotten about 9/11.

3. Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA,
July 18, 2014

@FT

I guess you could include America, but only if you exclude Chicago, Detroit, and pretty much every other major city. More people have been murdered in Chicago this year than died on this Malaysia Airlines flight.

4. Swedish reader
Stockholm, Sweden,
July 19, 2014

How does this have anything to do with who's president of the US? People have been murdered, including a group working to stop a horrible disease that orphans so many children in Africa and causes slow, painful death everywhere it strikes. Ethnic conflict is the culprit here - the "us versus them" mentality. That same mentality seems to me to underlie the comments above. The world needs more people who realize that all of us, despite different ethnicities and political opinions, are brothers and sisters. There is no "them", only a world wide "us"!

5. My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT,
July 19, 2014

It is Obama sanctioned war for the Ukraine to bomb and kill its own citizens so he does deserve all the credit for every death of any civilian who gets in his way.

Malaysia must take credit for the airplane getting shot down while flying over a posted and declared war zone. And its right that the freedom fighters are guarding the crash site and restricting access to it. Don't trust Obama, he would send in bombs and plant false evidence to the site. In-fact the US should not be allowed to enter the site at all. The black boxes, bodies, and luggage are the property of the airlines and Malaysia and not handed over to US agents.

Most like shot down by.....USA attack drone or NSA satellite orbiting overhead is as good a guess as the secretary of defense, Biden, Holder or Obama can come up with.

They know nothing or misdirecting lies of wrongful targeting by the Obama regime in the Ukraine with US missile fired and gone errant sighting in on passenger plane, thats why they want the black boxes to cover involvement.