Bodies rained down on Ukraine village after plane disaster

ROZSYPNE Ukraine Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:32pm IST

Flowers lie on debris from a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane which was downed on Thursday near the village of Rozsypne, in the Donetsk region July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Flowers lie on debris from a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane which was downed on Thursday near the village of Rozsypne, in the Donetsk region July 18, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev

Related Topics

ROZSYPNE Ukraine (Reuters) - First came the loud explosion that made buildings rattle: then it started raining bodies.

One of the corpses fell through the rickety roof of Irina Tipunova's house in this sleepy village, just after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 exploded high over eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting government forces.

"There was a howling noise and everything started to rattle. Then objects started falling out of the sky," the 65-year-old pensioner said in front of her grey-brick home.

"And then I heard a roar and she landed in the kitchen, the roof was broken," she said, showing the gaping hole made by the body when it came through the ceiling of the kitchen in an extension to the house.

The dead woman's naked body was still lying inside the house, next to a bed.

About 100 metres (330 feet) from Tipunova's home, dozens more dead bodies lay in the wheat fields where the airliner came down on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

Still visibly shaken by her experience, Tipunova said: "The body's still here because they told me to wait for experts to come and get it."

Another local resident in her 20s who refused to give her name said she ran outside after hearing the plane explode.

"I opened the door and I saw people falling. One fell in my vegetable patch," she said.

RED ROSE AND PLASTIC SHEETS

It was not only bodies that fell from the sky. Chunks of metal, pieces of luggage and other debris came crashing down to the ground in this agricultural area about 40 km (25 miles) from the border with Russia.

The front of the plane fell in a field of sunflowers about one km (1000 yards) from Tipunova's home. Debris, bodies and body parts were scattered for miles around.

Rescue workers say they have found most of the corpses, some of them largely intact, others mangled. Some have been piled together but others lie where they fell, the place identified by sticks placed in the ground with white cloth attached.

Some of the corpses have been wrapped in almost transparent plastic sheets, the corners held down with small mounds of soil or stones. Pairs of uncovered legs poke out from under some of the sheets, and at least one had a red carnation on top.

Among the dead were many women and children, including a boy of about 10 still lying beside the cockpit, his small body covered by a plastic sheet.

Much of the scene was in chaos 24 hours after the plane was brought down. Abandoned shoes lay all around, with boxes of tablets that spilled out of a medical cabinet, empty suitcases and articles of clothing strewn over the fields.

In an effort to clean up some of the carnage, body parts have been washed off the pot-holed road where they fell to the earth, along with parts of the fuselage and wings showing the red and blue Malaysia Airlines logo.

Emergency workers, few in numbers on Thursday, had arrived in force by Friday, setting up base in two large tents. Journalists and local residents wandered largely unimpeded through the ashes and charred wreckage.

Rebel fighters in combat fatigues watched the proceedings nervously. Kiev has accused them of shooting down the plane, but they have denied this and are pledging not to prevent an international investigation going ahead.

The constant sound of mortar fire and shooting in the distance served as a reminder of the conflict raging between the separatist rebels and the government forces who are trying to quell their three-month old revolt against rule from Kiev.

(Writing by Timothy Heritage; Editing by Peter Graff)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ten Years On

Ten Years On

10 years on, tsunami warning stumbles at the "last mile".  Full Article 

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Hopeful Dhoni

Hopeful Dhoni

India's new vintage nearly ready, says Dhoni.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Ali Hospitalized

Ali Hospitalized

Boxing great Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage