Local Ukraine Residents Say They Saw Rebels With Missiles Suspected Of Taking Down Malaysia Plane

Earlier today a Boeing 777 Malaysia Airlines passenger plane from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine around 10:00 EDT.

The area in question is a stronghold of pro-Russian rebels who are fighting the Ukrainian army.

Business Insider reached out to speak with a witness, who gave an account of how the situation is perceived by Donetsk residents. The man identified himself as a Donetsk-born 40-year-old working in the coal industry. He wished to remain anonymous because, as he put it, speaking in Russian, “the town is run by the terrorists, and I do not want to suffer.”

The people he referred to as “terrorists” are the pro-Russian rebels. Officially, the group is referred to as the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Although he did not see the plane fall, he says he ran to his window after hearing the sound of an explosion after the plane fell to the ground. He could not see the situation from his balcony, so he climbed to the roof of his house and “saw the smoke on the horizon.”

And later, he “learned that the terrorists shot down a civilian plane,” he said.

The man added: “I’m in shock! The terrorists must answer for their actions!”

Regarding the passengers on the plane, he stated (again, translated from Russian): “According to the information of the local residents, all the passengers on the plane died. And X [amounts] of bodies are thrown over the field next to the poultry farm settlement Grabovo.”

He stated: “I anxiously await the arrival of Ukrainian legal power!”

He also added that earlier today, his colleagues saw a Buk missile system pass by their office. His windows at work face the opposite direction, so he did not see it himself.

However, he connected us to a second anonymous source who actually saw the Buk missile system.

According to the second witness, the Buk missile system spotted in Torez, Ukraine, “was being towed and it was transported to the Snezhnoye.” Snezhnoye is a rural locality in the Donest’ka Oblast’. Torez and Snezhnoye are 11.8 km apart.

The second witness also heard the plane crash and saw the subsequent smoke. He said that there were three explosions: the first when the plane was actually hit, the second when the tail of the plane fell off, and the third when the plane fell.

Radio 24 (Pадио 24), a Ukrainian radio station, posted this tweet which shows a Buk missile system in Snezhnoye, Ukraine:

The translation of the Ukrainian text reads: “Buk” terrorists were in Snezhnoye today.

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