Please scroll down for updates on developing story
A Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in eastern Ukraine, Russian news agency Interfax reports Thursday, July 17, 2014.
The plane, a Boeing 777 reportedly went down near the border between Russia and Ukraine.
Updated at 17:43 Nigerian time:
Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Tun Razak has made a statement on the crashed plane.
I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation.
— Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) July 17, 2014
More detail on the circumstances of the crash have emerged. This information is only a ”preliminary investigation”. 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. 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. Malaysian Airline has confirmed that it has lost touch with the passenger plane which was carring 295 passengers and crew.
Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow. — Malaysia Airlines (@MAS) July 17, 2014
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) July 17, 2014
Boeing has tweeted a message to the families and loved ones on board the downed flight.
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
Updated at 17.58 Nigerian Time: An eyewitness has shared a photo of what appears to be a dead passenger from the downed plane. Viewer discretion is advised as this image could be disturbing.
Updated at 18:16 Nigerian Time
Verified images of the crash site of Malaysian Plane MH17 have been published on Twitter. This is a sad day.
— GuardianUS (@GuardianUS) July 17, 2014
— RT (@RT_com) July 17, 2014
Updated at 21:40 Nigerian Time:
The U.S. has concluded Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down, a senior U.S. official tells CNN’s Barbara Starr.
The Malaysia Airlines 777, carrying 295 people, went down near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, according to a Facebook post from a top Ukrainian official. The jet was at an altitude of about 33,000 feet en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Updated at 21: 46 Nigerian Time:
Amateur video claims to capture the crash of the Malaysian airline flight MH17. This is too sad.
Updated 6:64 Nigerian Time, July 18, 2014
The Obama administration believes Ukraine did not have the capability in the region — let alone the motivation — to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines plane, a U.S. official told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
The Boeing 777 with 298 people aboard fell from the sky near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, officials said. A top Ukrainian official said the plane, which was on the way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was flying at about 33,000 feet when the missile hit.
Updated 9:45 Nigerian Time, July 19, 2014
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said it was an “appalling, shocking, horrific” incident and added that “those responsible must be held to account”.
Both Cameron and US President Barack Obama called for Mr Putin to allow the crash site to be “properly investigated” amid reports that armed separatists were denying investigators access.
On a day of fast-moving developments and growing recriminations between the East and the West:
– Mr Putin was accused of avoiding phone calls from world leaders including Mr Cameron;
– America was last night considering imposing further sanctions as Mr Obama warned that he was prepared to “increase the costs” to Russia;
– Footage emerged of a Buk anti-aircraft missile launcher being driven into rebel-held Torez in eastern Ukraine just two hours before the crash.
– Video and audio emerged purporting to contain footage of Russian-backed, rebels saying they had mistakenly shot down the jet.
– Mr Putin categorically denied any link to the attack and suggested that Ukraine was partly responsible. “This tragedy would not have happened if there was peace in the country,” he said.
– Britain sent air accident investigators to Ukraine along with specialist police to retrieve and repatriate corpses.
At the White House, Mr Obama suggested that the missile launcher used to shoot down the plane was from Russia, and that those who fired it may have been trained in Russia.