Separatist rebels say they have found “most” of the recording devices from the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine.
A spokesman for the insurgency’s military commander, Igor Girkin, said eight out of the plane’s 12 recording devices have been located.
He said Girkin was still considering whether to give international crash investigators access to the sprawling crash site.
Any investigators would need specific permission from the rebel leadership before they could safely film or take photos at the scene.
Ukraine, whose investigators have no access to the area, has called for an international probe to determine who attacked the plane and insisted it was not its military. US intelligence authorities said a surface-to-air missile downed the plane, but could not say who fired it.
The crash site was sprawling, spread out over fields between two villages in eastern Ukraine. Large chunks of the Boeing 777 that bore the airline’s red, white and blue markings lay strewn over one field.
The cockpit and one turbine lay half a mile apart, and residents said the tail landed another six miles away, indicating the aircraft most likely broke up before hitting the ground.
Kenneth Quinn of the Flight Safety Foundation said an international coalition of countries should lead the investigation. The Unites States has offered to help.
Malaysia’s prime minister said there was no distress call before the plane went down and that the flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.