Ukraine says Malaysian plane shot down; nearly 300 feared dead, among them 80 children

Ukraine PM orders investigation into Malaysian 'airplane catastrophe', says plane was en route from Amsterdam.

By: Agencies | Moscow | Updated: July 18, 2014 12:10 pm
The site of a Malaysia Airlines plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in Donetsk region. (Source: Reuters) The site of a Malaysia Airlines plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in Donetsk region. (Source: Reuters)

A Malaysian airliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine by militants on Thursday, killing all 300 people aboard, a Ukrainian interior ministry official was quoted as saying by Interfax-Ukraine news agency. Sources say around 80 children are also dead.

According to reports, various airlines are now avoiding eastern Ukraine airspace. Meanwhile, Ukraine separatist group blames Ukraine Air Force for the incident. Pro-Russian separatists have told Russian news agency Ria that they are willing to have up to 3-day ceasefire in Ukraine to allow for recovery work at site. The US has said that they don’t have their own confirmation about the incident. There are no confirmation about Indians being on board the airliner either.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent ‘deep condolences’ to the Malaysian prime minister. US President Barack Obama said they will offer any kind of assistance to Malaysia.

The aircraft, which other sources said was a Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, came down near the city of Donetsk, stronghold of pro-Russian rebels, Anton Gerashchenko said, adding that it was hit by a ground-to-air missile.

There was no further confirmation of the report, although Ukrainian officials said local residents had found wreckage.

 

Malaysia Airlines said on its Twitter feed it had lost contact with its flight MH-17 from Amsterdam. “The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace,” it said.

Gerashchenko was quoted as saying: “A civilian airliner travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has just been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft system … 280 passengers and 15 crew have been killed.” Indian airline carriers have been told to avoid using the Ukraine airspace.

malaysianplane4_475

Malaysia’s Star newspaper quoting sources said the plane was “shot down” while cruising at an altitude of 30,000 feet. Ukraine Interior Ministry said 295 people are feared dead in the crash, it said.

malaysianplane_475 Source: Twitter

ITAR-Tass news agency reported that the airliner flying at the altitude of over 10,000 metres was supposed to enter the Russian air space at 17:20 Moscow standard time (13:20 UTC).

(Source: Twitter) (Source: Twitter)

“However, it fell down in 60 kms from the border; the plane’s emergency location beacon went off,” the agency reported quoting sources.

 

Ukraine Prime Minster orders investigation into Malaysian “airplane catastrophe”, says plane was en route from Amsterdam, Reuters said.

Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser said the Buk missile was fired by separatists, Interfax said.

Interfax-Ukraine quoted another Ukrainian official as saying the plane disappeared from radar when it was flying at 10,000 metres (33,000 feet), a typical cruising altitude for airliners.

malaysianplane2_475 (Source: Twitter)

It came down at Torez, near Shakhtersk, some 40 km (25 miles) from the Russia border. The area has been the scene of fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels.

A number of Ukrainian military planes have been shot down by missiles in recent weeks. Ukraine has accused Russia’s military of supplying advanced missiles to the rebels, the BBC reported.

Earlier on Thursday, Ukrainian officials blamed the Russian air force for shooting down one of its ground attack jets on Wednesday.

Tensions have been high between Ukraine and Russia since street protests forced former pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych from power in February.

(With inputs from Reuters, PTI)

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  1. Z
    Zen Bhatia
    Jul 17, 2014 at 5:59 pm
    It is too bad that 295 innocent human beings have to waste their lives like that. The civilized world has to think 100 times before starting unrest or helping diverse political, religious or ethnic groups providing arms, ammunition, political or military help for their own benefit. Many rebel fighting around the world including Ukraine, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Libya are the results of such intervention of the West, America, Russia and the oil rich Gulf nations. It must be stopped at once to keep humanity alive on this earth.
    Reply
    1. I
      I J
      Jul 17, 2014 at 8:35 pm
      This is so sad and extremely shocking!! Condolences to the family members...This is absolutely unacceptable from Russian-Ukranian militants(or the army?)....Malaysian Airlines seem to be the constant victim of mishaps....I am cancelling my Malaysian Airline flight to Perth...going for some other Carrier
      Reply
      1. I
        Irfan Iftekhar
        Jul 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm
        This plane has not crashed, the Malaysian pilots are not that dumb they have been flying for decades. This plane has been shot down for sure, either China or the West.
        Reply
        1. B
          beastofsteel
          Jul 17, 2014 at 6:33 pm
          I wonder if that was the missing Malaysian 777 from last years disappearance?
          Reply
          1. P
            Paul
            Jul 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm
            More of Putin's agenda
            Reply
            1. R
              ranagrao
              Jul 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm
              A great sin , hateful act, against humanity
              Reply
              1. R
                ranagrao
                Jul 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm
                It is a sin shoot a civilian air craft. ! In human act
                Reply
                1. $
                  $111846020
                  Jul 17, 2014 at 5:09 pm
                  Maybe the ghost of MH370 is haunting because someone is hiding something
                  Reply
                  1. C
                    Citizen
                    Jul 17, 2014 at 5:15 pm
                    The international community should condemn this dastardly act on civilian airlines who so ever is responsible for this should be punished properly as per the conventions. It is time for civilian airlines too to equip with anti missile shields for the sake of innocent pengers traveling in this age of global trade and co operation. Jaihind
                    Reply
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