Malaysian passenger plane crashed in Ukraine near Russian border

MH-17_Crash siteKiev – A Malaysian flight crashed Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian border, with all the 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board reportedly having been killed.

“A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, started descending 50 kilometers before entering Russian airspace, and was subsequently found burning on the ground in Ukrainian territory,” Interfax news agency quoted an aviation source as saying.

The plane disappeared from radar at 10,000 meters and then crashed near the city of Shakhtarsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, it said, citing Ukrainian law enforcement authorities.Eastern Ukraine

An advisor to Ukrainian Interior Minister Anton Herashchenko wrote on his Facebook that “280 passengers and 15 crew members have been killed.”

A group of emergencies service is on the way to the scene.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the plane could have been shot down, but the Ukrainian Armed Forces had nothing to do with it. Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said the government has formed a special investigative commission for the incident.

MH-17_Crash site2The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office said that law enforcement authorities could not access the crash site for investigation, as it is controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Andrei Purgin, first deputy prime minister of the DPR, said the first militia units had reached the crash site and found many children dead.

There were reports saying that the plane was shot down by the eastern Ukrainian militants, which was immediately denied by the leadership of the DPR.

“The plane was shot down by the Ukrainian side. We simply do not MH-17_Crash site3have such air defense systems, our MANPADs have a firing range of only 3,000 to 4,000 meters, while passenger jets fly at a much higher altitude,” Interfax quoted DPR officials as saying.

The militants said they did not rule out that the plane could have been brought down by Ukrainian servicemen. Source: Xinhua