Handover of black boxes starts investigation - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Handover of black boxes starts investigation

The handover of the flight recorders starts the investigation into what happened to the Malaysian airliner.  (Source: CNN) The handover of the flight recorders starts the investigation into what happened to the Malaysian airliner. (Source: CNN)
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DONETSK, UKRAINE (CNN) - With flight recorders now in the hands of Malaysian officials, the investigation into the plane crash in Ukraine takes an important step forward.

But the international community still has a lot of questions and concerns about the apparent missile strike which downed the plane.

Investigators will analyze the flight recorders from MH17 to get a better idea of what happened to the plane.

Pro-Russian rebels gave the recorders to Malaysian officials on Tuesday, days after the crash that killed nearly 300 people.

As to whether the black boxes might have been tampered with, experts say that is highly unlikely.

"You can't go in and fool around with the data and move data points around. These are solid, secure devices. If there was any kind of attempt to alter them, investigators would know immediately,” said Peter Goelz, former managing director of that National Transportation Safety Board.

But if the plane was indeed shot down, as the U.S. government claims, the flight data and voice recorders alone won't show who was responsible.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says that part of the investigation is being obstructed.

"...Not everyone has been supporting a real investigation into this crime. If they were, international experts would have had unimpeded access to the crime scene and all of the wreckage would have been left where it had fallen,” said Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

As rebels continue to deny responsibility, a man whose grandson died on flight 17 blames them, blames Russia, and blames Ukraine.

"I am very angry about the whole situation, and I'm really not only angry with the rebellion club, but also with the Ukraine government who had been too weak after three months not to be able to silence the rebellion,” said Ronald Schansman, grandfather of a MH17 victim.

After being left to the elements for days, the bodies of the dead were finally loaded onto a train and shipped out of Donetsk. Dutch inspectors said they were "more or less" satisfied with how those remains were being stored.

The remains will eventually be taken to the Netherlands where the majority of the victims are from for identification.

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