U.S. FBI, transport investigators headed to Ukraine after crash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. investigators are preparing to head to Ukraine to assist in the aftermath of a Malaysian airliner that was shot down over eastern Ukraine with 298 people on board, an official said on Friday.

FBI and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board personnel are headed to the region to serve in an advisory role for the investigation of Thursday's incident, the U.S. official said.

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said that agency would send at least one investigator but that it was not yet clear when the official would go or if other staff would be needed to assist, citing the "still fluid situation."

"The facts, as they are uncovered, will dictate our actions," Bresson said.

The NTSB also will send at least one investigator to Ukraine, although the departure date has not been set, said Keith Holloway, a spokesman for the agency.

"Our response will continue to be guided by the events, as they unfold," he said.

(Reporting by Julia Edwards, Jeff Mason and Eric Beech; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)

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