UK & World News

  • 22 July 2014, 16:03

Smell Of Death At Scene Of Downed Flight MH17

Tensions are running high at the site of the crashed passenger jet and the smell of dead bodies is beginning to choke the air around the crash site, reports Sky News' Stuart Ramsay.

International observers arriving at the disaster scene were confronted by armed rebels who prevented them from carrying out their investigations, with the threat of force if they failed to comply, he said.

The pro-Russian militia were "firm" in dealing with the monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), with a bus initially used to block their convoy before being allowed to proceed, but under strict supervision.

Gunmen then fanned out to prevent them straying into any area they did not want them to inspect.

Ramsay, who is at the site in eastern Ukraine, said: "They were told where they could go. If they had attempted to do something it would have got nasty.

"They have allowed the OSCE to come in, but not do their job."

The observers' mission had been to check on the debris of the downed plane, the crash site, and bodies being moved, but they were severely hindered in their work by the separatists.

Against this tense stand-off, emergency workers have begun the task of collecting the remains of dead passengers, with the number of body bags rapidly growing.

Ramsay said the weather is hot and the smell from the dead bodies is filling the air.

"It's pretty nasty," he said.

Dutch authorities have said they are furious at reports of bodies being dragged around at the crash site.

But Ramsay said: "I don't know who is telling them this but that's not what we are seeing here.

"We haven't seen them being dragged around... there are other issues around this crash site but the abuse of bodies does not seem to be one of them."

And speaking about reports of looting and personal items including credit cards being stolen from the debris, Ramsay added: "Of course that is possible but I have to say that in the two days that I've been here that is not something I've seen."

Advertisement