Bodies from downed jetliner piled in boxcars in Ukraine; West condemns crash site tampering

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Associated Press

Posted on July 20, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 21 at 12:02 AM

TOREZ, Ukraine (AP) — Western leaders are accusing pro-Russian rebels of tampering with the 42-square-mile crash site in eastern Ukraine where a Malaysian jetliner went down with last week, killing all 298 on board.

The rebels have piled nearly 200 victims' bodies into four refrigerated boxcars, while cranes at the scene have been moving big chunks of the Boeing 777.

Secretary of State John Kerry says there's "powerful" evidence that the rebels shot down the plane with a Russian surface-to-air missile and training. In a series of interviews on the Sunday talks shows, Kerry said Moscow been supporting, arming and training the separatists.

Leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Australia all spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone Sunday, urging him to use his influence on the separatists to ensure the victims could be repatriated and international investigators could have full access to collect evidence.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose country lost 28 citizens in the tragedy, says Putin "said all the right things" during their telephone conversation about ensuring an international investigation into the disaster. Abbott told Sydney Radio 2GB that to this point the site "is being treated more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation" and called that "completely unacceptable."

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APPHOTO XVG131: A man holds a baby as he walks next to a refrigerated train loaded with the bodies of victims, in Torez, eastern Ukraine, 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Armed rebels forced emergency workers to hand over all 196 bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines crash site and had them loaded Sunday onto refrigerated train cars bound for a rebel-held city, Ukrainian officials and monitors said.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (20 Jul 2014)

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APPHOTO XAZ104: Ukrainian emergency workers carry a victim's body in a body bag as a pro-Russian fighter guards the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Rebels in eastern Ukraine took control Sunday of the bodies recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and the U.S. and European leaders demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin make sure rebels give international investigators full access to the crash site.(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (20 Jul 2014)

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APPHOTO XAZ113: Ukrainian Emergency workers carry a victim's body in a body bag as pro-Russian fighters stand in guard at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Rebels in eastern Ukraine took control Sunday of the bodies recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and the U.S. and European leaders demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin make sure rebels give international investigators full access to the crash site.(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (20 Jul 2014)

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APPHOTO XVG114: People search a wheat field for remains in the area of the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Armed rebels forced emergency workers to hand over all 196 bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines crash site and had them loaded Sunday onto refrigerated train cars bound for a rebel-held city, Ukrainian officials and monitors said. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (20 Jul 2014)

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APPHOTO XAZ108: A Ukrainian investigator, left,walks by charred debris as a pro-Russian fighter guards him, at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17? near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Rebels in eastern Ukraine took control Sunday of the bodies recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and the U.S. and European leaders demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin make sure rebels give international investigators full access to the crash site.(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (20 Jul 2014)

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APPHOTO XAZ106: A pro-Russian fighter guards the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Rebels in eastern Ukraine took control Sunday of the bodies recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and the U.S. and European leaders demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin make sure rebels give international investigators full access to the crash site.(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (20 Jul 2014)

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APPHOTO XAZ116: Ukrainian Emergency workers carry a victim's body in a bag as pro-Russian fighters stand in guard at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Rebels in eastern Ukraine took control Sunday of the bodies recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and the U.S. and European leaders demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin make sure rebels give international investigators full access to the crash site.(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (20 Jul 2014)

<<APPHOTO XAZ116 (07/20/14)££

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