Iran has cleared away most of the debris at the site of the Ukrainian plane crash, according to CBS News senior foreign correspondent Elizabeth Palmer, despite Ukrainian investigators not yet arriving to inspect the site.
Palmer was able to view the site in Tehran on Friday where the plane crashed on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. Iranian security officials told her team to leave but Palmer said there ordinary people, not officials, were scrummaging through the scene and taking pieces of wreckage away from the site.
The report has sparked concerns that Iranian authorities have mismanaged the crash site, possibly undermining he investigations into the cause of the plane's crash. Western intelligence agencies have suggested that the plane was downed by a surface-to-air missile.
RUSI research fellow Michael Stephens re-tweeted a photo posted by Palmer of the crash scene.
“The victims and especially their families deserve better than this,” he said in a tweet. “Absolutely unacceptable response from the Iranians.
Witnesses said they saw a truck and heavy equipment take away most of the wreckage, CBS reported.
Witnesses also said large pieces of the jet’s fuselage and nose had been removed. Removal of both the wreckage and bodies of the victims began the day of the crash, CBS reported.
The victims and especially their families deserve better than this. Absolutely unacceptable response from the Iranians. https://t.co/Yyoh4D4jvt— Michael Stephens (@MikeRStephens) January 10, 2020