Wreckage and bodies are scattered across the Ukrainian countryside after a Malaysian jetliner was shot from the sky.

Rescue workers, policemen and even off-duty coal miners are combing a sprawling area in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border where the Malaysian plane ended up in burning pieces, killing all 298 aboard.

Large chunks of the Boeing 777 bearing the airline's red, white and blue markings lie strewn over a field. The cockpit and one turbines lie a kilometre apart, and residents said the tail landed about 10 kilometres away, indicating the aircraft most likely broke up before hitting the ground.

About 70 coal miners have joined the rescue effort near the rebel-held village of Rozsypne. At least four bodies were seen in the streets of the village, and a journalist saw bodies and body parts strewn across a sunflower field outside Rozsypne.

malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
An armed pro-Russian separatist stands on part of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane after it crashed near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.Reuters
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
Parts of of the Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur are seen near the town of Shaktarsk.AFP
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
Parts of the Malaysian Airlines plane are spread across an area near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine.AFP
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
Armed pro-Russian separatists stand at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash.Reuters
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
Passengers' luggage is strewn across a field.AFP
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
A body is seen on a seat among the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet.AFP
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
A man wearing military fatigues stands next to the wreckage.AFP
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
A firefighter stands among the burning wreckage of the Malaysian airliner.AFP
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
Alexander Borodai, self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the pro-Russian separatist Donetsk People's Republic, arrives at the site of the crash.AFP
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
A body lies on the ground close to the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crashReuters
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
People search for bodies at the site of the crash of a Malaysian airliner carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala LumpurAFP
malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
Passengers' belongings are strewn at the site of the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east UkraineAFP