Malaysia Plane: Catastrophic Crash Site Scene

Dozens of dead bodies lie scattered around the smouldering wreckage of a passenger jet that crashed in eastern Ukraine, after it was reportedly shot down.

A thick plume of black smoke stretching high into the air marked the scene of devastation near the village of Grabovo, with debris strewn across an area up to nine miles across.

Broken pieces of the wings were marked with blue and red paint – the same colours as the emblem of the Malaysian airline which lost track of a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was carrying almost 300 people.

Eyewitnesses said the jet appeared to explode in mid-air before wreckage rained down.

Shocked local residents struggled to take in the scene of the carnage.

One eyewitness said: “I was working in the field on my tractor when I heard the sound of a plane and then a bang and shots.

“Then I saw the plane hit the ground and break in two. There was thick black smoke.”

Katya, 64, said: “I had just gone to sleep…when I heard an enormous bang.

“It was like an earthquake.”

Her daughter Natalya, 36, said that she had fled to safety when she heard the explosion.

“I took my baby and went and hid in the basement,” she said.

A separatist rebel from nearby Krasnyi Luch said: “From my balcony I saw a plane begin to descend from a great height and then heard two explosions.”

Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose country is still reeling from the disappearance of Flight MH370 in March with 239 people on board, has spoken of his shock at the Ukraine crash.

He said: “We are launching an immediate investigation.”

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