NTSB, FBI preparing Ukraine investigators after Malaysia crash

People search for bodies on July 18, 2014 at the site of the crash of a Malaysian airliner near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine (AFP Photo/Dominique Faget)
People search for bodies on July 18, 2014 at the site of the crash of a Malaysian airliner near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine (AFP Photo/Dominique Faget)

Washington (AFP) - The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are preparing to send investigators to Ukraine in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines tragedy, US officials said Friday.

"The NTSB is sending one investigator to Ukraine. The timing of this deployment is still being determined. Our response will continue to be guided by the events, as they unfold," an NTSB spokesman told AFP.

The FBI, meanwhile, also is preparing to deploy at least one FBI official to Ukraine, although a government official stressed: "It remains a fluid situation and the facts, as they are uncovered, will dictate our actions."

Boeing, which built the Boeing 777-200ER allegedly downed by a missile fired by pro-Russian rebels, has stated it "stands ready to provide whatever assistance is requested by authorities."

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed Thursday in eastern Ukraine with 298 passengers and crew aboard. No survivors have been found.

Malaysia -- still reeling from the unexplained disappearance of Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March with 239 on board -- has said it is sending two officials to assist directly in a Ukrainian-led investigation.

Overall, it is dispatching a total of 62 people to the Ukrainian capital Kiev -- including disaster response and rescue personnel, medical experts, and representatives of the Malaysian air force, Malaysia Airlines and the country's Department of Civil Aviation.