All 295 people on board of Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight are believed dead as the plane crashed in east Ukraine, amid claims of a missile attack.
There are no signs of survivors on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at the scene of the crash near the village of Grabovo, in rebel-held territory close to the border with Russia.
Both sides in Ukraine’s civil conflict accused each other of shooting down the plane with a missile. It is still not clear why the plane came down.
It is the second disaster suffered by Malaysia Airlines this year.
Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Malaysia to China in April and still has not been found.
At a news conference at Schiphol airport, Malaysia Airlines’ European chief Huib Gorter said that of the passengers that have been identified there were:
- 154 Dutch nationals, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians
- Six Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three from the Philippines and one Canadian
- All 15 of the crew were Malaysian
Other airlines have announced they are now avoiding eastern Ukraine.
Malaysian PM Najib Razak spoke of his shock and said he was launching an immediate inquiry into the crash.
“This is a tragic day in what has already been a tragic year for Malaysia,” he said.
US and Ukrainian officials said they believed the plane had been brought down by a missile.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said it was an “act of terrorism”.
Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin also said he had intercepted phone conversations that proved the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists.
Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the Ukraine government for restarting military operations in the area, where it is trying to regain control from pro-Russian rebels.
“The country in whose airspace this happened bears responsibility for it,” he said.
Separatist leader Alexander Borodai accused the Ukrainian government of downing the airliner.
Ukraine’s defense ministry issued a statement saying there were no air force jets in the area and no surface-to-air systems being used against the rebels.
The plane fell between Krasni Luch in Luhansk region and Shakhtarsk in the neighboring region of Donetsk.
At least 100 bodies have been found so far at the scene, an emergency services worker told Reuters news agency, with wreckage spread across an area of up to about 9 miles in diameter.
Broken pieces of the wings were marked with the blue and red paint of Malaysian Airlines.
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