A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew crashed in Ukraine near the country’s border with Russia, according to an Interfax report.
A Reuters correspondent at the scene in Eastern Ukraine reports seeing burning wreckage and bodies on ground.
A Ukrainian government adviser, Anton Gerashenko, confirmed on Facebook that a plane carrying 295 people was shot down over a town in the east of the country. A source in Ukraine’s National Security Council confirmed to Mashable’s Chris Miller that the plane was downed.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called for the creation of a government commission along with the ICAO (Ukrainian Aviation Security Training Centre) and other international organizations to investigate the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane.
Today, at approximately 4:20 p.m. Malaysian Airlines No. 17, which was flying the route from Amsterdam – Kuala – Lumpur, disappeared from radar screens.
In recent days, this is the third tragic accident, after the AN-26 and SU-25 aircrafts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were shot down from the Russian territory. We do not exclude that this aircraft was also shot down, and stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not commit any actions in the air [at the time of the downing].
The President of Ukraine on behalf of the State expresses its deepest and most sincere condolences to the families and relatives of those killed in this terrible tragedy. Every possible search and rescue effort is being made.
The President appealed to the Cabinet in order to quickly create a State commission to investigate the causes of this tragedy. The President proposed to involve the work of experts of the Commission of the ICAO and other international organizations, and representatives of the Netherlands and Malaysia.
We are confident that those responsible for this tragedy will be brought to justice.
The Malaysian prime minister tweeted, “I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation.”
Malaysia Airlines tweeted that it “lost contact” with the plane. “The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace.” Boeing tweeted that it was “aware of reports.”
An adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry reports the plane was brought down by a ground-to-air missile, Reuters tweeted on Thursday, and the Ukrainian interior ministry adviser says there are no survivors, according to The Telegraph.
The rebels have reportedly taken over the crash site.
The Ukrainian Air Traffic agency reportedly confirmed Malaysian Airlines plane crashed near Ukrainian-Russian border. Reuters, citing Interfax as well, reports that the plane was shot down at an altitude of 10 km above eastern Ukraine, which has been the battleground of a months-long war between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels.
The flight was said to be “found burning on the ground in Ukraine,” a source tells Interfax. Below is the flight path of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which left from Amsterdam on Thursday.
At least two videos posted to YouTube — both of them unconfirmed — show a blake plume of smoke rising over the horizon.