July, 18 2014 16:56:00

Second black box recovered from crash site

Photo taken on July 17, 2014 shows the debris at the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine. A Malaysian flight crashed Thursday in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, with all the 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board reportedly having been killed. — Photo Xinhua/RIA Novosti

PETALING JAYA — The second of two black boxes has been recovered from the debris field where Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 is believed to have gone down in eastern Ukraine.

According to Reuters, a cameraman from the news agency reported that the second of two flight recorders was found at 5.55am GMT. This follows a report from Russian news agency Interfax that pro-Russia separatists who claim to have recovered the black box of MH17 have announced that they are planning to have it moved to Moscow for examination.

A black box, which is actually orange, is made up of a cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, which are used to aid crash investigators in determining the cause of aviation accidents.

MH17 disappeared from radar screens in eastern Ukraine at around 1415 GMT, hours after the Boeing 777, bound for Kuala Lumpur, had taken off from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

The Boeing 777, with 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers onboard, is believed to have been accidentally shot down 50km from the Ukraine-Russia border.

The Chichago Tribune reported that the security and rights body Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) claim rebels in the region say they will ensure safe access for international experts visiting the site.

OCSE stated on its website that a "contact group" of senior representatives from Ukraine, Russia and OSCE had held a video conference with the separatists, who pledged to cooperate with Ukrainian authorities in the investigation.

It said the rebels had committed to providing safe access and security guarantees to the national investigation commission, including international investigators, in the area under their control.

"As a matter of priority, they (the separatists) shall close off the site of the catastrophe and allow local authorities to start preparations for the recovery of bodies," OSCE said.

Ukrainian authorities had raised complaints that separatist forces in the region, which borders Russia, had prevented their officials from reaching the crash site. — The Star

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