Death and looting amid scene of MH17 tragedy
A pro-Russian separatist holds a stuffed toy found at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.

Looters have reportedly swarmed the Ukrainian village where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed on Thursday.

USA Today reports that looters have pillaged the possessions of 298 people killed in the tragedy with an unknown amount of items stolen from the debris strewn across a large area.


International investigators retrieving luggage as evidence reportedly found that many of the possessions had already been opened and rifled through.

"The looting and pillaging could ultimately interfere with the official investigation into the MH17 disaster," USA Today reported.

This image taken from video shows a guidebook found in the wreckage of passenger plane flight MH17 after it was shot down Thursday as it flew over Ukraine, near the village of Hrabove, in eastern Ukraine. Photo: AP/Channel 1.

Passports, stuffed animals and lunch boxes for children are said to be just some of the items left behind by looters.

According to USA Today, that's only the beginning as a number of unidentified individuals have been allowed into the investigation area.

"The recovery effort lacks organisation as possessions found in the debris have not been categorised or recorded," the paper claimed.

"Unlike standard crime scene procedures, the system at the crash site is lacking in order and organisation."

"This has encouraged mobs of looter and pillagers to swarm around the crash site looking for valuables."

A woman reacts to news regarding a Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed in eastern Ukraine at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia. Photo: AP/Joshua Paul.

Freelance photojournalist Filip Warwick told Fairfax there is strong evidence to suggest looting had taken place before any security presence at the site.

"I noticed that I hadn't come across a single wallet with money, or a mobile phone or a camera. They've all mysteriously gone missing."

Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels have since agreed to set up a security zone around the crash site of the Malaysian jet that was apparently shot down in the separatist east, Ukraine's security service chief said on Saturday.

Internationally mediated talks "concluded with an agreement to set up a 20-kilometre security zone so that Ukraine could fulfil the most important thing -- identify the bodies (and) hand them over to relatives," Ukrainian Security Service head Valentyn Nalyvaychenko said in televised remarks.

OSCE says it did not receive proper access to Ukraine crash site

Gunmen prevented monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe from observing the site where a Malaysian airliner crashed in rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Friday, the rights and security watchdog said.

Calling their behavior "impolite and unprofessional", an OSCE spokesman said some gunmen in the area seemed intoxicated while others would not let the team of about 25 observers look at the wreckage of the Boeing 777.

"We had expected unfettered access, that's the way we work," Michael Bociurkiw told a news conference.

"Unfortunately the task was made very difficult. Upon arrival at the site ... we encountered armed personnel who acted in a very impolite and unprofessional manner. Some of them even looked slightly intoxicated."

He denied that the observers had been fired at by pro-Russian rebels, but said one gunman fired shots into the air, seemingly to scare off some civilians.

Pro-Russian separatists watch as Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitors arrive at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 18, 2014. Photo: REUTERS/MAXIM ZMEYEV

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