GRABOVE, Ukraine (AFP) - Dozens of severely mutilated corpses could be seen strewn in the wreckage of flight MH17 that crashed Thursday in rebel-held eastern Ukraine but there were no signs of survivors, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
Debris was spread out for kilometres and the tail of a passenger jet lay in a corn field with the Malaysian Airlines insignia on it while insurgent fighters and several fire trucks were seen nearby the crash site.
Eyewitnesses told AFP that the jet appeared to explode in mid-air before wreckage rained down over a large area.
Shocked local residents struggled to take in the scene of the carnage and said that remnants of the jet had been found in a village some 9km from the centre of the crash site.
"I had just gone to sleep at around 1600 (9pm Singapore time) when I heard an enormous bang," a 64-year-old resident, identified only as Katya, said. "It was like an earthquake." Her daughter Natalya, 36, said that she had fled to safety when the sound of the explosion rumbled overhead.
"I took my baby and went and hid in the basement," she said.
There was no sign of any rescue workers going through the gruesome site.