MH17 victims' phones answered by strangers

NICK MILLER
Last updated 07:58 24/07/2014
MH17 SITE
Reuters

CRASH SCENE: People walk near the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines MH17 in the Donetsk region. The site was chaotic and there were fears of looting from shortly after the crash.

MH17 crash
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A man blocks access to the scene of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as emergency personnel remove the bodies of passengers.
M17 victims
Supplied Zoom
Robert Ayley with a rottweiler during his trip to Europe. Robert was one of the victims of the MH17 crash.
MH17 black box
Reuters Zoom
A guard stands on the train carrying the remains of MH17's victims as it arrives in the city of Kharkiv after days of delays.
MH17 COFFIN ARRIVES
Reuters
JOURNEY HOME: A coffin of one of the victims of MH17 is carried from an aircraft during a national reception ceremony at Eindhoven, in the Netherlands.

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Grieving relatives of the MH17 crash victims have had chilling confirmation that their loved ones' possessions have been looted from the crash site.

Relatives of victims in the Netherlands dialled the mobile phone numbers of crash victims and said the phones were answered by people with 'eastern European-sounding voices', the Netherlands' De Telegraaf reported.

The relatives were shocked when they heard the voices, the paper said.

Telephone companies agreed to waive the usual requirement for a death certificate and agreed to cancel the phone subscriptions, so those who took the phones could not continue to use them.

There have been several reports of looting at the crash site, which spreads over more than 50 square kilometres and has not been secured because it is in separatist-controlled territory.

Anyone with the right accreditation, obtained from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, can roam the site under the watch of the militia.

Journalists who examined the scene said there was a notable lack of items such as phones, wallets, cameras and jewellery.

Some footage shot at the scene appears to show one militant taking a ring and putting it in a paper bag.

Ukraine has also accused local militants of stealing diplomatic papers carried on the flight.

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