The West

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.

Relatives of MH17 victims have reported hearing voices on the other end of their deceased loved ones’ mobile phones, providing distressing confirmation that looters have raided the MH17 crash site.

According to reports from the Netherlands’ De Telegraaf, the relatives were ‘shocked’ to hear what they described as ‘eastern-European voices’ when they dialled mobile phone numbers of those who died in the crash.

The relatives quickly called the phone companies to shut down the mobile phone accounts, the paper reports, who agreed to waive the death certificate usually required to shut down an account.

The news comes shortly after reports looters swarmed the Ukrainian village where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed.

USA Today reported that looters 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.

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

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."

It was days before the first international experts were granted access to the area after the crash.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Russian President Vladimir Putin should have acted sooner to secure the crime scene at the crash site.

Mr Putin told separatists to co-operate with international investigators days after the MH17 occurred, prompting harsh criticism.

"This is what President Putin should have done from the outset," Ms Bishop said.

Mr Putin's move follows a unanimous United Nations Security Council vote for a resolution demanding international access to the site.

Ms Bishop says she's been advised that things have progressed since the vote and Australian experts will soon have access to the crash site.

Latest News From The West

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West