Malaysian passenger plane shot down by surfacetoair missile over Ukraine

first_img Source: Boeing Airplanes/Twitter Whoops! We couldn’t find this Tweet Source: Reuters Top News/Twitter Source: ReutersAerospaceNews/Twitter Our thoughts and prayers are with those on board MH17, as well as their families and loved ones. We stand ready to provide assistance.— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) July 17, 2014 The site of a Malaysia Airlines plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in Donetsk region:— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 17, 2014 Updated 22.10pmScreengrab: FlightawareA MALAYSIAN PASSENGER plane carrying 295 people has crashed in eastern Ukraine.A Ukrainian government official said it had been “shot down” in an apparent missile strike.The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin has said that Ukraine ‘bears responsibility’ for the crash.US officials confirmed tonight that a surface-to-air missile shot down the passenger jet.Ukraine’s president called the loss of the plane an “act of terrorism” but rebels denied shooting it down.Malaysia Airlines confirmed in a statement that Ukrainian Air Traffic Control had lost contact with flight MH17 from Amsterdam “at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border”. A Malaysian investigation team are on the way to Ukraine.The plane was en route to Kuala Lumpur.Tragedy It is believed that all on board have been killed in the tragedy.The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told said the Department was aware of the situation, and was liaising with the relevant embassies in Prague and the Hague.The nationalities of those on board have been released at a press conference. They are as follows:154 Dutch27 Australians23 Malaysians11 Indonesians6 UK nationals4 Germans4 Belgians3 Filipinos1 CanadianAll crew members were from Malaysia. Other nationalities have not yet been determined.There’s no indication that any Irish people were on board the flight.Dozens of severely mutilated corpses are strewn in the wreckage of the airliner that, an AFP reporter at the scene said.The reporter said debris was spread out for kilometres.Meanwhile, Associated Press said one of its journalists had counted at least 22 bodies at the wreckage site.Photos broadcast by the Russian channel LifeNews showed the bodies of a number of passenger, and smoke rising from the smouldering wreckage.‘Explode in mid-air’Eyewitnesses told AFP that the jet appeared to explode in mid-air before wreckage rained down over a large area.Shocked local residents struggled to take in the scene of the carnage and said that remnants of the jet had been found in a village some 9 kilometres from the centre of the crash site.“I had just gone to sleep at around 1600 (1300 GMT) when I heard an enormous bang,” Katya, 64, told AFP. “It was like an earthquake.”Her daughter Natalya, 36, said that she had fled to safety when the sound of the explosion rumbled overhead.“I took my baby and went and hid in the basement,” she said.There was no sign of any rescue workers going through the gruesome site. The Donetsk region government said the crash had happened near a village called Grabovo, which it said was currently under the control of separatists.The region has seen severe fighting in recent days. In the latest incident before today’s crash, a Ukrainian fighter was shot down by an air-to-air missile from a Russian plane. #BREAKING: Ukraine prime minster orders investigation into Malaysian “airplane catastrophe”, says plane was en route from Amsterdam— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 17, 2014 Further pictures from the #MH17 crash site in in Grabovo, #Ukraine #MH17 – @reuterspictures (GRAPHIC):— ReutersAerospaceNews (@ReutersAero) July 17, 2014 Source: Reuters Top News/Twittercenter_img Airlines have been paying their respects to those that have lost their lives: ‘Shot down’ Source: Screengrab/Sky NewsAnton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, said earlier on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 metres when it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher.He said in a press conference that the were not treating the incident as an “accident” but an “act of terrorism”.The country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, has ordered an investigation into what he called the Malaysian “airplane catastrophe”.In a statement released in the wake of the crash, he said the plane disappeared from radar screens at 4.20pm local time.The statement expresses “deep and sincere condolences” to relatives of those on board and says a full search and rescue effort is under way.And it says the “Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets”.The statement concludes by saying the Ukrainian government wants to make sure the “perpetrators of the tragedy” are brought to justice.Meanwhile, separatist leader Alexander Borodai has insisted the plane was shot down  by Ukrainian government forces.Ukraine rebels say ready for temporary truce after plane crash, reports AFP.Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was “shocked” at the tragedy. #BREAKING: Airlines group IATA says it believes crashed Malaysian aircraft was not flying in restricted airspace— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 17, 2014 Source: Mark Knoller/Twitter Source: Port News/YouTubeThere are reports that the plane may have been flying in restricted air space, however this has been disputed: On airline crash, @PressSec says Pres Obama directed WH aides to stay in touch with senior Ukraine officials and to keep him updated.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 17, 2014 Sky News reports that the black box from the flight has been found.President Obama has told aides to keep in touch with Ukraine officials and keep him briefed on the situation, according to White House Press Corps reporters. Source: Reuters Top News/Twitter A number of videos said to be from the region and posted online today show thick plumes of smoke rising from an apparent crash site.None of the footage has been independently verified… Source: EuroMaidan PR/YouTubeIncludes reporting from AP & AFP.Additional reporting Christina Finnlast_img read more

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