Time: 5:54 p.m. CEST Update: 7:35 p.m. CEST
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – JULY 18: A member of the public takes a picture of the arrival board as it displays the MH17 flight information on July 18, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Rahman Roslan/Getty Images)
Relatives of passengers of the flight MH17 reacted with crying and disbelief at the international airport at Kuala Lumpur on Thursday after they received the sad news on the crash and lost of their love ones. According to Malaysia Airline European head, and Amsterdam Airport CEO says 154 residents of Netherlands, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysian, 11 Indonesian, six U.K., four Belgian, three Philippines, one Canadian were aboard crashed jet.
The British Guardian reports: “Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has established a hotline for anyone who believes a relative may have been on board: 1300 555 135.”
A vigil for the victims happens on Thursday night near the Netherlands Embassy in Kiev.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “The government in whose air space this happened bears responsibility for this terrible tragedy,” Kremlin announced on Thursday night. “I note that this tragedy would not have happened if it was on this earth peace, in any case, would not be renewed hostilities in the south-east of Ukraine, ” said Kremlin (Russian). During the meeting on economy Putin observed a moment of silence for deaths in the plane crash over Ukraine.
Unconfirmed reports say on the possibility American residents were on the board of flight MH17. President Barack Obama says that first priority is to determine whether American citizens were on board of crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, and says thoughts and prayers are with the families of the passengers on board.
Latest photographs of the crash site in Ukraine, near the border with Russia. Unconfirmed reports say that the numbers of reported fatalities rise to 300, including 23 U.S. citizens. Jen Psaki, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State says during the press briefing on Thursday “they cannot yet confirm if any Americans were on board Malaysia Airlines Flight.”
In the news release of the State Department on July 17, State Secretary John Kerry said they are “horrified by the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH317. State Secretary Kerry said the United States Government is prepared to assists with a credible, international investigation, and that they will be in contact with all relevant partners in pursuing the facts of what happened. The U.S “is reviewing whether any American citizens were aboard the flight, ” said Kerry.
During the telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House readout says “President Putin noted the early reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border.” They agreed on the need for a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis achieved through diplomatic means.
Earlier, media report that several residents of Netherlands were on the flight. As of now, there is no official information or confirmation that the aircraft Boeing 777 was shot down. Boeing expressed condolences to the families of the passengers on the flight.
This is the second news event that involves Malaysian Airlines airplane, since the MH370 vanished over the Southern Indian Ocean since March, 2014. Ukraine’s government announced a briefing on Thursday night on briefing by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkina on the crash of Boeing 777.
According to the website of the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said: “We do not exclude that the plane was shot down and confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky. ” Russian President Vladimir Putin “expressed deep condolences” to Malaysia’s Prime Minister over the crash, a post Thursday on the Kremlin’s website said, reports CNN.com.
The Vice President Joe Biden offered to Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko the U.S. assistance of the National Transportation Safety Board to help with the investigation. According to Biden, “apparently because we don’t have all the details, and I want to be sure of what I’m saying, apparently had been shot down. Shot down, not an accident. Blown out of the sky.”
Firefighters arrive on the crash site near border between Ukraine and Russia in the town on Torez in the Donetsk region where the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 reportedly was shot down. Later on Thursday night “Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. intelligence believes a surface-to-air missile was fired at the plane, although it is not clear who shot it.”
Despite that it is unknown if missile was fired by Ukrainian forces or pro-Russia separatist rebels.
A radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before MH17 was shot down, while a second signature saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit, a senior US official told CNN.com.
Other senior US officials told CNN that at the moment US has “nothing to substantiate” Ukraine’s claims that pro-Russian separatists shot down the plane.
People inspect a wreckage believed to be from Malaysia Airlines flight #MH17 in Ukraine
Malaysia Airlines announced on their Twitter account @MAS that the company had lost contact with MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. The company says more details would follow.
Passenger airliner of Malaysia Airlines carrying 295 people on board reportedly crashed near Ukraine’s border on Thursday Russian Interfax News Agency published quoting an aviation industry. Malaysian Airlines Boeing airplane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian Airlines confirms it received information from Ukrainian Air Traffic Control that it had lost contact with the flight MH17 at 2:15 p.m. GMT at 30 kilometers from Tamak waypoint, approximately about 50 kilometers from the Russia-Ukraine border.
According to the company news statement published on their Facebook Page “flight MH17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.”
The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard, the company announced.
According to Interfax report, the place came down 50 km (20 miles) before to enter Russian airspace, says Reuters on the base of Interfax news. Unnamed Ukraine security source, quoted by Interfax, claims the plane disappeared from radar at a height of 10,000 meters. According to Reuters article, the plane came down neat the town of Shakhtyorsk. Twitter account @Flightradar24 that tracks air traffic in real time around the world tweets on the flight history of MH17.
CNN.com writes the aircraft “was “shot down” over Ukraine by “terrorists” operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system, according to the Facebook page of Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. There were 280 passengers killed as well as 15 crew members, Gerashchenko’s post reads.”
Reuters Twitter account tweets Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk ordered an investigation on the “airplane catastrophe”, says plane was en route from Amsterdam.
Twitter account of Hushammuddin Hussein, Malaysian acting minister of Transportation @HishammuddinH20 tweets he has no conformation the plain is shot down and would further ask for a confirmation. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak also posted tweet Malaysia starts with investigation.
According to Social Media, an Ukraine adviser said on Facebook the Malaysian flight was reportedly hit by missile fired of BUK-M1[a.k.a SA-11] surface-to-air missile system.
News spread on Social Media. Here is the reaction of the State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki on the Twitter account @statedeptspox
The New York Times tweets #MH17 “was flying on a busy aviation route, known as Airway L980, used by commercial carriers between Asia & northern Europe.” According to CNN.com, Federal Aviation Administration said on April that “due to the the potential for conflicting air traffic control instructions from Ukrainian and Russian authorities and for the related potential misidentification of civil aircraft, United States flight operations are prohibited until further notice in the airspace over Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov,” Reuters later tweets that Eurocontrol says Malaysian plane was flaying in open airspace, but about 1.000 feet above a closed section of an airspace.
The international Air Transport Association said it believes that #MH17 was not flying in restricted airspace when it crashed on July 17. The crash of MH17 happens amid introduction of more severe sanctions toward Russia’s individuals, entities, and companies over the intrusion to Ukraine territory. Despite the timing no official sources relates the crash with toughest sanctions toward Russia from the U.S. and European Union.
Many compared the crash with that happened on July 17, 1996, when TWA Flight 800 from JFK Airport to Paris exploded over the shores of Long Island, New York, 12 minutes after departure. There were 230 people on board, and no one survived.
CORRECTION: Considering other media reports in the previous version of the article the flight number was incorrectly written as MH317. The correct number as stated on Malaysian Airlines is MH17.