Ukraine rescuers recover 181 bodies at Malaysian plane crash site

KIEV Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:13pm IST

Debris from a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that crashed on Thursday lies on the ground near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Debris from a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that crashed on Thursday lies on the ground near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region July 18, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev

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KIEV (Reuters) - Rescuers have recovered as many as 181 bodies so far at the site of the Malaysian airliner crash in eastern Ukraine, an official at Kiev's Foreign Ministry told a briefing on Friday.

The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was downed near the Russian border on Thursday, an area where pro-Moscow separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government forces since April. All 298 people on board of the plane were pronounced dead.

Andriy Sibiga said the bodies would probably be transported to the nearby Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which is under the control of the central government.

Separatists have agreed to provide assistance to those investigating the crash of the plane and will ensure safe access for international experts visiting the site, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by Gabriela Baczynska/Mark Heinrich)

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