Investigators work without full access to crash site


Associated Press

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 23 at 12:32 PM

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — British investigators have begun examining the flight recorders from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane.

They say Dutch authorities have delivered the plane's voice and data recorders to the agency's base in southern England, where information will be downloaded. Experts will also check for signs of tampering.

Dutch officials, meanwhile, say they've taken charge of the investigation, and they're pleading for complete access to the wreckage in eastern Ukraine, in an area controlled by pro-Russia rebels. A spokesman for the Dutch Safety Board says about 25 investigators are already in Kiev analyzing information including photos, satellite images and radar information, but that they have not yet gained access to the crash site. He says they haven't been able to get guarantees about security, but that they hope to be able to reach the site "soon."

Meanwhile, independent military analysts say the shrapnel impacts that are visible in photos of the wreckage indicate that a missile from a system like the S-A-11 brought down the plane. Justin Bronk, a military sciences research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, says the shrapnel holes are "fairly broad," which would be consistent with a large missile like the S-A-11.

Another analyst says the large number of shrapnel holes in the debris means that only a fragmentary warhead like the S-A-11 could have been used.

%@AP Links

136-c-18-(David McHugh, AP correspondent)-"calling for that"-AP correspondent David McHugh reports that investigators still don't have complete unfettered access to the crash site. (23 Jul 2014)

<<CUT *136 (07/23/14)££ 00:18 "calling for that"

APPHOTO MOSB123: A piece of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 lies in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Independent military analysts said Wednesday that the size, spread, shape and number of shrapnel impacts visible in an AP photograph of a piece of the wreckage all point to a missile system like the SA-11 Buk. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) (23 Jul 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB123 (07/23/14)££