Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight crashes over eastern Ukraine
There were 298 people on board the flight. Reports say there are no survivors
Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 crashed on Thursday 17 July in a rebel controlled area of eastern Ukraine with 298 people on board, 283 of which were passengers and 15 crew members. There are no survivors. Reports say that the plan was shot down by a surface-to-air missile as it was cruising at approximately 33,000 feet. The information comes from a military spy satellite but it was unable to detect the exact location of the missile fire.
The plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia Airlines said, in a statement, that Ukraine's air traffic control lost contact with flight MH17 at 2.15pm GMT. The plane was approximately 30 miles from the Russia-Ukraine border at the time.
"Flight MH17, operated on a Boeing 777, departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm [Amsterdam time] and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur international airport at 6.10am [Malaysia time] the next day. The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew." The flight also had a Dutch airline flight number from KLM, KL4103.
The jet came down close to the village of Grabovo, part of an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Both sides of the Ukraine civil war have accused each other of shooting down the plane.
Malaysian Airlines European chief Huib Gorter said, at a news conference in Schiphol airport, that the airline is still trying to identify some of the flight passengers. There were 43 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and 154 Dutch nationals on the flight. There were also nine Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos and one Canadian on board. The identities of 41 passengers have yet to be identified.
Prime Minister Najib Razak has said he will be launching an immediate inquiry into the crash. "This is a tragic day in what has already been a tragic year for Malaysia."
Families of the passengers and crew are advised to call +603 7884 1234 (Malaysia) or +317 0348 7770 (Netherlands) for more information.
This is the second air disaster the country has faced in four months. Flight MH370 , carrying 239 people to Beijing, vanished in March.