HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — With the sound of artillery blasts at a distance, dozens of international investigators arrived today at the eastern Ukraine site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed and began a painstaking search for the remains of as many as 80 victims.
Several hours before they arrived, at least 10 Ukrainian soldiers were killed when their convoy was ambushed by pro-Russian separatist rebels in a town close to the wreckage site. Thirteen more soldiers were unaccounted for after the attack, officials said, and the bodies of four more people were being examined to determine whether they were soldiers or rebels.
The investigators from the Netherlands and Australia, plus officials with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, traveled from the rebel-held city of Donetsk in 15 cars and a bus to the crash site outside the village of Hrabove.
As they set up a base to work from at a chicken farm, an Associated Press reporter heard artillery fire in the distance. It was impossible to tell how far away shells were landing and whether the Ukrainian army or rebel forces were firing.