Who is to blame? Crash investigators face struggle

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Associated Press

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 18 at 4:32 PM

LONDON (AP) — Experts say the investigators who'll try to find out what happened to a Malaysian jetliner over Ukraine yesterday will use the wreckage of any missile that's found, to determine where it came from and who fired it.

But they say that will be no easy task, in the middle of a war zone, at a disaster scene spread out over eight square miles of contested ground.

The first international monitors to arrive on the scene, 24 hours after the Malaysia Airlines flight came down, were already running into restrictions from armed militiamen. The 30-member delegation that arrived at the crash site this afternoon, mostly from the Organization from Security and Cooperation in Europe, was only allowed by militiamen to perform a partial and superficial inspection. One member of the team says he was shocked to see that bodies of victims were still lying in the open.

European Union officials say Ukraine should have first claim on the plane's two black boxes. But an insurgent said today that rebels had recovered multiple devices from the wreckage, and were considering what to do with them -- raising fears they could be headed to Moscow.

An insurgent leader later said the rebels don't actually have the devices.

%@AP Links

146-a-07-(Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, addressing Security Council)-"the United Nations"-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power says a full, credible and unimpeded investigation must begin immediately. (18 Jul 2014)

<<CUT *146 (07/18/14)££ 00:07 "the United Nations"

APPHOTO MOSB109: A man gestures at a crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine, Thursday, July 17, 2014. Ukraine said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday as it flew over the country, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the plane. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) (17 Jul 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB109 (07/17/14)££

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