As it happened: Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine

Key Points

  • A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane crashes in Ukraine, near Russian border
  • The airline lost contact with Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at 1415 GMT
  • There were 280 passengers - mostly Dutch nationals - and 15 Malaysian crew on board
  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has described it as "an act of terrorism"
  • Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels accuse each other of shooting down the plane
  • All times in BST (GMT +1)

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  1.  
    16:24:

    Reports suggest a passenger plane has crashed in eastern Ukraine. The early reports come from an "aviation source" who was quoted by the privately-owned Russian Interfax news agency

     
  2.  
    16:27:

    The crash has reportedly happened on the Ukrainian side of the Russia - Ukraine border, scene of tension between the two countries.

     
  3.  
    16:31:

    The Boeing 777 plane was flying in an international air corridor over eastern Ukraine when it crashed, the Russian news agency reported.

     
  4.  
    16:34:

    The Interfax news agency reported 295 people - 280 passengers and 15 crew members - were on board the flight, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

     
  5.  
    16:36:

    Again according to the Interfax agency only, Anton Herashchenko an adviser to the Ukrainian deputy interior minister has apparently confirmed the crash.

     
  6.  
    16:36:

    The BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow says that the area in which the plane is reported to have come down is right in the centre of the area controlled by anti-Kiev rebels - although of course details are still coming in.

     
  7.  
    16:39: Breaking News

    Malaysia Airlines tweets it has lost contact with flight MH17 from Amsterdam. "The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace," it says. "More details to follow."

     
  8.  
    16:42:

    Aviation expert Chris Yates says the plane would have been full, if reports that it was carrying 295 passengers are correct. He says the plane would have been flying at a height of some six miles (9.7km).

     
  9.  
    16:50:

    An advisor to the Ukrainian interior minister, Anton Gerashenko, says the plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 metres (33,000 feet) when it was "hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher", in a post on his Facebook page, according to the Associated Press.

     
  10.  
    16:50:

    The Associated Press says one of its journalists saw a similar launcher near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhe earlier on Thursday.

     
  11.  
    Boeing Airplanes

    tweets: We are aware of reports on MH17. We're gathering more information.

     
  12.  
    16:54:

    The UK Foreign Office says it is aware of the reports and is "urgently working to establish what has happened".

     
  13.  
    16:59:

    This map shows where contact was apparently lost with flight MH17 between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur:

    Map
     
  14.  
    17:02:

    The Interfax-Ukraine news agency has quoted a Ukrainian Interior Ministry as saying he believes all 295 passengers on board have been killed.

     
  15.  
    17:05:

    The Ukrainian prime minister has reportedly launched an investigation into what he calls the "airplane catastrophe", according to Reuters.

     
  16.  
    17:06:

    If the deaths on board this flight are confirmed, it would be the second tragedy to strike Malaysia Airlines this year after the disappearance of Flight MH370 in March with 227 passengers and 12 members of crew on board - one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time.

     
  17.  
    Zeke Miller, Political reporter at Time Magazine

    tweets: WH: Obama has been briefed on reports of the plane

     
  18.  
    17:07:

    US stocks have fallen sharply amid reports of the latest Malaysia Airlines flight incident, according to AFP.

     
  19.  
    17:08:

    BBC correspondent Oleg Boldyrev in Moscow says unconfirmed reports suggest people have seen wreckage on the ground. He adds that any investigation into what could have happened would be a "nightmare" for the authorities, given the tensions in the area.

     
  20.  
    17:09:

    A number of military planes have been shot down by missiles in recent weeks over eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatist rebels have been fighting government forces.

     
  21.  
    Mohd Najib Tun Razak, Malaysian prime minister

    tweets: I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation.

     
  22.  
    17:14:

    A Reuters reporter has reached the scene and has described seeing burning wreckage of the airplane, with bodies on the ground, the agency reports.

     
  23.  
    17:15:

    Interfax news agency quotes the Ukrainian presidential press service as saying that the Ukrainian armed forces were not involved in the Malaysian passenger plane "being brought down".

     
  24.  
    Jonathan Beale Defence correspondent, BBC News

    A defence expert has told the BBC that shooting down a plane at 10,000 metres (9.7 miles) would have required a long-range surface-to-air missile - possibly guided by radar. That suggests it is unlikely it could have been downed by a portable air defence missile, or Manpad, which has a much shorter range.

     
  25.  
    Jonathan Beale Defence correspondent, BBC News

    The only other possibility is for an aircraft at that height to be downed by a fighter carrying air-to-air missiles. The US will have access to satellite imagery that should be able to identify ultra-violet plumes if a long-range surface-to-air missile was fired.

     
  26.  
    17:20:

    Sources says the aircraft was a Boeing 777, similar to this one photographed earlier this year:

    A Boeing 777 Malaysian Airlines flies over Poland in this file photo taken 5 February  2014.
     
  27.  
    17:26:

    Pro-Russia separatists in Donetsk have denied bringing down the aircraft, according to Interfax. "The plane was shot down by the Ukrainian side. We simply have no air defence systems of this kind," separatist spokesman Sergey Kavtaradze told the agency.

     
  28.  
    17:28:

    According to Reuters, there are dozens of bodies scattered around the wreckage of the jet. The agency quotes an emergencies services rescue worker as saying at least 100 bodies had so far been found at the scene, and that debris from the wreckage was scattered across an area up to about 15 km (nine miles) in diameter.

     
  29.  
    Flight tracking site Flightradar24

    tweets: Last positions of #MH17 directly from Flightradar24 database. Signal was lost around 13:21 UTC at 33,000 feet.

    Screen grab of Flightradar tweet
     
  30.  
    17:30:

    The Malaysia Airlines plane could have been shot down, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says in a statement. "This is a third such tragic event in recent days, when Ukrainian military An-26 and Su-25 aircraft have been shot down from Russian territory, " the statement says. "The Ukrainian armed forces did not attempt to shoot down targets in the air."

     
  31.  
    Reuters News Agency

    tweets: #BREAKING: Eastern Ukraine separatist leader Alexander Borodai says airliner shot down by Ukrainian gov. forces, Kiev denied involvement

     
  32.  
    17:31:

    Russian news agency RIA Novosti is also reporting that scores of bodies in Donetsk Region have been found strewn on the ground next to the plane wreckage.

     
  33.  
    17:32:

    The BBC's Oleg Boldyrev in Moscow says the rebels do not have out-dated equipment. What they have equals or maybe surpasses the Ukrainian government's capabilities. He says some reports say the rebels even have fighter planes reportedly flown from Crimea and that possibility should not be excluded.

     
  34.  
    17:33:

    According to a Reuters reporter at the scene, broken pieces of wing marked with Malaysia Airlines' red and blue - similar to those pictured below - have been seen among the wreckage.

    Malaysia Airlines plane tail
     
  35.  
    17:34:

    A map of the reported crash site in eastern Ukraine:

    BBC map
     
  36.  
    17:38:

    If it was a missile that brought the aircraft down, it would have to be a long range one as opposed to a portable system, aviation analyst Chris Yates tells BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

     
  37.  
    Air transport editor for Flight International, David Kaminski

    tweets: Point of loss of #MH17 appears to coincide with airspace boundary between Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk flight information regions.

     
  38.  
    Mike Boxall in Cambridge, UK

    emails: Why have international airlines continued to fly across this area of eastern Ukraine during this time of conflict? We have been reading reports of the increasing loss of military aircraft in this area, surely the airlines have a standard of customer care which should preclude overflying areas of conflict?

     
  39.  
    17:43:

    Novorossiya, one of several major pro-Russia separatist accounts on Twitter, says in a tweet (in Russian) that the Ukrainian air force brought down the Malaysia Airlines aircraft, our colleagues at BBC Monitoring report.

     
  40.  
    17:45:

    US President Barack Obama has spoken via telephone to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the airplane crash, Reuters reports. The call had already been pre-planned on the situation in Ukraine, it adds.

     
  41.  
    17:46:

    AFP quotes the Kremlin as saying that Mr Putin "informed [President Obama] about an air-traffic controllers' report that came just before their phone conversation that a Malaysian plane crashed in Ukraine".

    Vladimir Putin
     
  42.  
    17:50:

    Malaysia Airlines has released a statement saying it received notification from Ukrainian air traffic control that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 GMT at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km (31 miles) from the Russia-Ukraine border.

     
  43.  
    17:51:

    Former UK ambassador to Russia Sir Tony Brenton tells the BBC if the plane has been shot down it has "quite profound political implications". He says sanctions and "world condemnation" of the pro-Russia rebels could follow if it turns out they have shot down the plane.

     
  44.  
    17:52:

    A statement from Virgin Airlines says it "will be re-routing a small number of our flights this evening". It says it is closely monitoring the situation.

     
  45.  
    17:53:

    Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, who dealt with the disappearance of MH370 in March in his capacity as acting transport minister, has appealed for calm on Twitter, saying he is working with the foreign, transport and prime minister on the issue - via BBC Monitoring

     
  46.  
    Reuters news agency

    tweets: The site of a Malaysia Airlines plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in Donetsk region: http://bit.ly/1eP5C4X

     
  47.  
    17:56:

    Reuters has this photograph of a Ukrainian emergencies ministry worker at the crash site:

    An Emergencies Ministry member works at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo
     
  48.  
    17:57:

    A spokesman for pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region told Russia's Rossiya TV that they were not capable of bringing down a commercial airliner flying at 10,000 metres.

     
  49.  
    17:57:

    "The portable air defence systems which we have, they work at a maximum of three to four thousand metres. Therefore, it is possible to say virtually before the start of the investigation that the Ukrainian armed forces destroyed this," separatist spokesman Sergey Kavtaradze says.

     
  50.  
    17:58:

    Another photograph from the crash site, taken by Reuters:

    Crash site
     
  51.  
    17:59:

    German airline Lufthansa says it has decided to avoid eastern Ukrainian air space with immediate effect, Reuters reports.

     
  52.  
    Carl Boylin in Leeds, UK

    emails: All aircraft should be rerouted in the short term to avoid any further loss of life

     
  53.  
    18:03:

    Flight MH17 took off from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport at 12:14 local time. This AFP image was reportedly taken at the time.

    Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 taking off from Schiphol Airport
     
  54.  
    18:05:

    Emergency services officials are surveying the crash site:

    Emergencies ministry members work at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region on 17 July 2014.
     
  55.  
    Reuters

    tweets: #BREAKING: Air France says has decided to avoid airspace of Eastern Ukraine

     
  56.  
    18:16:

    As well as Lufthansa, Russian airliner Transaero has also announced it is avoiding Ukrainian airspace for all future flights following the Malaysia airlines crash, Reuters reports.

     
  57.  
    18:16:

    The plane went down near the village of Grabovo, which is currently under the control of armed pro-Russian separatists. The region has been the scene of severe fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatist rebels in recent days, AP reports.

     
  58.  
    18:19:

    Malaysia Airlines is expected to hold a press conference on the incident at 04:00 local time (21:00 BST), the BBC understands.

     
  59.  
    18:20:

    The UK department of transport issues a statement stating: "Flights already airborne are being routed around the area by air traffic control in the region." Pilots around the world are being advised to plan routes that avoid the area, it adds.

     
  60.  
    18:24:

    The Interfax news agency quotes Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as saying the incident was a "terrorist act", Reuters reports.

     
  61.  
    18:25:

    Graphic images from the crash site, showing debris and bodies, are currently being broadcast by the privately-owned pro-Kremlin rolling Russian news channel LifeNews, our colleagues at BBC Monitoring report.

     
  62.  
    Russian News Agency RIA Novosti

    tweets: Putin expresses his "sincere condolences" to Malaysian PM on MH17 aircraft crash

     
  63.  
    18:29:

    Another image of the debris of the Boeing 777 scattered on the ground:

    The site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash is seen in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, on 17 July 2014.
     
  64.  
    18:30:

    Independent Malaysian news portal Malaysiakini says new transport minister Liow Tiong-lai is on his way back to Kuala Lumpur to handle the MH17 incident. He was visiting Beijing where his itinerary included discussion of the search of the missing flight MH370 with China.

     
  65.  
    ABC News

    tweets: JUST IN: US State Dept. working to determine if there were any US citizens on board Flight MH17 - @AliABCNews

     
  66.  
    18:31:

    Dutch PM Mark Rutte is returning to the Netherlands from a summit in Brussels, Reuters reports. In a statement, he said he was "deeply shocked" by reports of the crashed plane, which took off from the Dutch capital Amsterdam, but added "much is still unclear about the facts, circumstances and the passengers".

     
  67.  
    18:33:

    An Associated Press reporter at the scene has counted at least 22 bodies at the scene of the crash.

     
  68.  
    18:36:

    The route taken by flight MH17 was a well-flown route between Europe and Asia, a pilot tells BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott. He said that any troops should have known the path was full of civilian aircraft.

     
  69.  
    18:40:

    A US State Department spokeswoman tells reporters they have no information on the cause of the crash or of casualties. She said she could not confirm if there were any US citizens on board or not.

     
  70.  
    Reuters

    tweets: #BREAKING: Number of dead from crash of #MH17 more than 300, includes 23 U.S. citizen: Interior Ministry adviser, quoted by Interfax

     
  71.  
    18:41:

    A Facebook page affiliated to Ukraine's pro-European EuroMaidan movement has posted images of Ukrainians offering condolences at the Malaysian embassy in Kiev, with one lady carrying a placard with the slogan: "Putin is a murderer", our colleagues at BBC Monitoring report. (Link in Ukrainian)

     
  72.  
    18:42:

    The plane appeared to have broken up before impact, with the wreck scattered over a wide area in the village of Grabovo, AP reports.

     
  73.  
    Malaysian Astro Awani news website

    tweets: A press conference on MH17 incident with PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be held at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport anytime soon....

     
  74.  
    18:51:

    An aviation expert has told the BBC it is unlikely that anyone survived the crash. Peter Felsted, the editor of Jane's Defence Weekly, said sophisticated weaponry would have been needed to take down a flight travelling at such an altitude.

     
  75.  
    18:53:

    More images have now emerged showing the devastation at the scene of the crash:

    An armed pro-Russian separatist stands at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region on 17 July 2014.
     
  76.  
    18:59:

    Part of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane lies in a field near the village of Grabovo. The airline's logo is clearly visible.

    A part of the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane is seen after it crashed near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region on 17 July 2014.
     
  77.  
    19:00:

    A tweet (in Russian) from a key Twitter account used by pro-Russian separatists, in which they claim to have captured a Buk surface-to-air missile system, has now been deleted, BBC Monitoring observes. Ukrainians say the Malaysian plane could have been downed with a Buk, but pro-Russian rebels have now denied they have it.

     
  78.  
    19:04:

    The Malaysian airliner was flying normally without any problems until it disappeared from radar, the head of Ukraine's airspace regulation body says, as quoted by Reuters.

     
  79.  
    19:05:

    Malaysia's official news agency Bernama reports that the foreign minister and the head of the armed forces have joined other ministers and the Prime Minister Najib Razak at Kuala Lumpur airport.

     
  80.  
    19:05:

    The upper floor of Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport has now been closed to media and reserved for family and relatives of passengers on flight MH17:

    The upper floor of Schiphol Airport is closed for media and reserved for family and relatives of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 on 17 July 2014.
     
  81.  
    19:08:

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says "at least" four French nationals were on board the flight, AFP reports.

     
  82.  
    19:12:

    Images are continuing to come in from the crash site showing the debris:

    Smoke rises up at a crash site of a passenger plane, near the village of Grabovo, Ukraineon 17 July 2014.
     
  83.  
    19:13:

    President Obama says the plane crash is a "terrible tragedy" and that his first priority will be to determine if US citizens were on board. Speaking at an event in Delaware, he said the US will offer any assistance it can to help determine what happened. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families of the passengers, wherever they may call home," he adds.

     
  84.  
    19:20:

    Italy's Alitalia has joined the growing list of airlines to announce it is diverting flights away from eastern Ukraine in the wake of the incident. The list also includes: Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, Russia's Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines.

     
  85.  
    19:26:

    Anxious friends and family are awaiting news of their loved ones at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport:

    A couple walk in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport awaiting information on the crashed plane on 17 July 2014.
     
  86.  
    19:28:

    Flight recorders have been found at the crash site, Konstantin Knyrik, a spokesman for the pro-Russian rebels, has told Interfax news agency. Earlier reports quoted rebels as saying they intended to send the flight recorders to Moscow for checking.

     
  87.  
    Journalist Noah Sneider

    tweets: At crash site of #MH17. Bodies everywhere, organs splayed out. Too gruesome to post photographs. This is an absolute disaster. #ukraine

     
  88.  
    Journalist Noah Sneider

    tweets from the scene: Firefighters putting out smoldering wreckage of #mh17. Everything burnt out, grass, plane, ppls minds. Impossible to comprehend... #ukraine

     
  89.  
    19:35:

    The director of Eurocontrol, which controls air traffic across Europe, says that Ukrainian airspace has now been closed after reports of the crash. Speaking to Radio 5 Live, Tytgat Luc said there were four aircraft flying in the same area at the same time that the crash occurred, but that they continued their flights.

     
  90.  
    19:44:

    US Vice-President Joe Biden has spoken to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Reuters quotes the White House as saying. He offered US assistance in helping to determine what happened to the plane.

     
  91.  
    19:57:

    Eurocontrol, which co-ordinates European air traffic control, has said Ukrainian authorities have now closed air routes in eastern Ukraine. All flight plans that are filed using these routes are now being rejected, Eurocontrol says, and the routes will remain closed until further notice. A crisis cell is being activated to co-ordinate the response to the impact of the airspace closure.

     
  92.  
    20:00:

    The International Air Transport Association says the plane appeared to be flying through ordinary airspace when it crashed. "Based on the information currently available, it is believed that the airspace that the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions," the association said in a statement.

     
  93.  
    20:13:

    The European Cockpit Association, which represents European pilot associations, says in a statement that the route flown by the plane is the most common route for flights from Europe to South East Asia.

    "Our first thoughts go to the relatives and friends of the 290 passengers and of the 15 crew members and colleagues on board of the Malaysian flight MH17," the statement says.

     
  94.  
    20:15:
     pro-Russian separatists at crash site

    Armed pro-Russia separatists stand at the crash site near the settlement of Grabovo in the eastern Donetsk region.

     
  95.  
    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

    tweets: Hundreds of people lost their lives in the plane crash. Such a tragedy. I mourn for the victims #MH17 #Boeing http://on.fb.me/1mll6k0

     
  96.  
    20:23:

    The Ukrainian Security Service SBU has published on its Youtube account what it says are intercepted conversations between pro-Russian militants in which they say they admit shooting down a civilian plane, BBC Monitoring reports.

     
  97.  
    20:27:

    BBC Monitoring reports more from the conversation between militants allegedly intercepted by the Ukrainian Security Service.

    The conversation starts with Igor Bezler, a key militant, apparently telling a Russian security official by phone that the pro-Russian militants have shot down a plane.

     
  98.  
    20:31:

    In the YouTube footage a militant nicknamed "Major" is seen saying it was shot down by "Cossacks from the Chernukhino roadblock".

    Major goes on to say: "It is definitely a civilian plane... there was a lot of people on board," BBC Monitoring reports.

     
  99.  
    20:33:

    And a quick recap. A Malaysian airliner carrying 295 people has crashed in east Ukraine on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, amid allegations it was shot down. The BBC has a summary of what we know so far.

     
  100.  
    20:35:

    Ukraine's Defence Ministry has said that no Ukrainian fighter jets were in the air in the area where the Malaysian plane was shot down.

     
  101.  
    20:36:

    "No surface-to-air systems are involved in the military operation against separatists in the east, and the plane was out of reach of other Ukrainian air defence forces," the statement from Ukraine's Defence Ministry added. (BBC Monitoring)

     
  102.  
    20:41: Anna Holligan, BBC News, Schiphol airport, Amsterdam
    Buses outside Schipol airport

    Passengers' families are being taken to a bar inside the airport and that police have set up a cordon to separate the press. The buses outside suggest they may be taken to an alternative location imminently, our correspondent adds.

     
  103.  
    Flightradar24, who tracks air traffic in real time,

    tweets: Less flights over Ukraine. More flights over Bulgaria and Turkey after #MH17

     
  104.  
    20:49:
     MH-17 at the G3 gate of Schiphol Airport

    Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is seen at the G3 gate of Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, before it took off, heading to Kuala Lumpur.

     
  105.  
    20:55: Breaking News

    A pro-Russia rebel leader in east Ukraine says they are ready to call a ceasefire for several days to facilitate an investigation into the crash, according to reports.

     
  106.  
    21:02:

    A press conference is expected at some point on Thursday evening at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

     
  107.  
    21:06:
    Wreckage of Malaysia Airlines

    Parts of the MH17 plane wreckage can be seen in the background, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.

     
  108.  
    21:09:

    More on the ceasefire plan. Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic", tells journalists he is prepared to agree to a truce for several days.

     
  109.  
    Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen

    tweets: I am shocked & saddened by crash of #Malaysia #MH17. My full statement is here: http://ow.ly/zhHcq

     
  110.  
    21:13:

    US carrier Delta Air Lines has said it was no longer sending flights through Ukrainian airspace.

    "Out of an abundance of caution, Delta is not routing flights through Ukrainian airspace and is monitoring the situation involving Malaysia Airlines Flight 17," Delta said in a statement.

     
  111.  
    21:16:

    Aviation expert Julian Bray tells the BBC he was surprised any airlines were still flying over eastern Ukraine.

    "Normally what they do [is] they fly around it - they declare it black and say 'no we're not going in there' or they send their aircraft a little higher," he says.

     
  112.  
    21:22:

    The UK Foreign Office has set up a helpline for those who think their relatives may have been involved in the crash. Anyone concerned can text MH17 to +44 7860010026, call 020 7008 1500 or fill out an online form at https://overseas-crisis.service.gov.uk. It is not yet clear whether any Britons were on the plane.

     
  113.  
    21:36:
    Site of Malaysia Airlines crash

    Wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.

     
  114.  
    21:43:

    The American ABC News network quotes a US official as saying the US believes that a surface-to-air missile brought down the plane. It is unclear who fired the missile or whether it was fired from inside Ukrainian territory or Russian territory, the official said.

     
  115.  
    21:46:

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tells a press conference "no stone will be left unturned" in trying to find out what happened.

     
  116.  
    21:47:

    "If it transpires that the plane was shot down, we insist the perpetrators be swiftly brought to justice," he says.

     
  117.  
    21:47:

    "This is a tragic day in what has already been a tragic year for Malaysia," he added, referring to the disappearance of flight MH370.

     
  118.  
    21:48:

    Mr Razak says he has spoken to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who said he would negotiate with rebels to establish a humanitarian corridor to the crash site.

     
  119.  
    Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak

    Before the news conference, he tweeted a photograph of himself: PM Najib Razak at the Emergency Ops Centre; receiving updates over the past hour #MH17 - Admin

     
  120.  
    21:51:

    Now there's a news conference at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

     
  121.  
    21:55:

    There were 280 passengers on board and 15 Malaysian crew, says an airport official.

     
  122.  
    21:58:

    There were 154 Dutch passengers on board the plane, says Huib Gorter from Malaysian Airlines. Also 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 from Indonesia, six from the UK, four Germans, four Belgians, three from the Philippines and one Canadian. More nationalities have yet to be counted.

     
  123.  
    David Kaminski, air transport editor for Flight International,

    tweets: Malaysia PM: #MH17 route "was declared safe" by ICAO.

     
  124.  
    The Wall St Journal

    tweets: Malaysia Airlines plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile, U.S. intelligence confirms. http://on.wsj.com/Wl0qDZ

     
  125.  
    22:14:

    US Vice President Joe Biden says the airline was shot down, "not an accident, blown out of the sky".

     
  126.  
    Lee Smith from Wokingham, UK

    emails: I fly monthly from London to Singapore. Over the years I sometimes wake up on the way home and see from the map that I'm flying over Crimea or Ukraine as well as other conflict regions like Iraq and have often wondered is it safe? I guess I now have an answer. Flying back tonight and I'm not normally a nervous flyer...

     
  127.  
    22:23:

    US Vice-President Joe Biden, speaking in Detroit, also said the US would send a team to Ukraine to help with the investigation.

     
  128.  
    Flight tracking website Flight Radar

    tweets: Less flights over Ukraine. More flights over Bulgaria and Turkey after #MH17:

    Map showing planes avoiding Ukraine's airspace
     
  129.  
    22:29:

    The Dutch foreign minister has said incident responders must have "unhindered access" to the crash site, Reuters reports.

     
  130.  
    Los Angeles Times reporter Ryan Parker

    tweets: Malaysian Airlines executives: Going through passenger list thoroughly, making sure it's 100% accurate before releasing names #MH17

     
  131.  
    22:30:

    AP quotes Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying Ukraine "bears responsibility" for the crash.

     
  132.  
    22:36:

    The Russian president opened a meeting with his economic advisers by calling for a moment of silence, Associated Press news agency reports.

     
  133.  
    22:36:

    Then Mr Putin said: "This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in south-east Ukraine."

     
  134.  
    Russian news agency RIA Novosti

    tweets: Russia requests to work jointly with Ukraine at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines passenger plane http://bit.ly/1nPV51k

     
  135.  
    22:41:

    Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says he is "profoundly shocked and saddened" by the crash. "Much is unclear about the circumstances of the crash. However the instability in the region, caused by Russian-backed separatists, has created an increasingly dangerous situation," he said in a statement.

     
  136.  
    Reuters

    tweets: White House says Obama called Malaysian prime minister, Ukrainian president about downed jet from Air Force One. #MH17

     
  137.  
    22:50:

    You can watch here the senior vice-president of Malaysia Airlines, Huib Gorter, saying the priority was to look after suffering families, at a press conference earlier at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

     
  138.  
    The United Nations

    tweets: Ban Ki-moon states that there is clear need for a full intl investigation on Malaysian Airlines disaster in #Ukraine http://bit.ly/1oO5bMB

     
  139.  
    22:54:

    A distraught Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak earlier said it was a "tragic day in what has already been a tragic year" for his country. You can watch his comments in full.

     
  140.  
    Reuters

    tweets: Ukrainian official says armed rebels are hampering search operations at #MH17 wreckage scene: http://reut.rs/1pfS48F

     
  141.  
    23:03:

    Britain says its request for the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting on Friday morning about the Ukraine crisis has been granted.

     
  142.  
    23:06:

    The agony goes on for relatives waiting for news at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

    People at Kuala Lumpur International Airport
     
  143.  
    UK Foreign Office (FCO)

    tweets: Foreign Secretary sends condolences to those affected by #MH17 crash & confirms #Britons believed on board - http://ow.ly/zhZBG

     
  144.  
    23:23:

    US President Obama has spoken to Ukrainian President Poroshenko to discuss the tragedy and assured him that US experts will help any way they can with the investigation.

     
  145.  
    Francesca Ebel

    tweets: Hundreds of people turned up at the Dutch Embassy tonight to lay down flowers for those who perished in the crash pic.twitter.com/5uwjeS9JMl

    People lay flowers at the Dutch embassy in Kiev
     
  146.  
    23:51:

    The US president also spoke to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to offer condolences, says the White House. "He reaffirmed the strength of the friendship between the United States and Malaysia and underscored that the United States stands ready to provide any assistance or support necessary," a statement said.

     
  147.  
    Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish National Party deputy leader

    tweets: Very distressing news from both Ukraine & Gaza tonight. Thinking of all who are suffering so much.

     
  148.  
    00:08:

    Thank you for being with us. That's it from us for now, but we will resume live updates on the plane crash in Ukraine shortly.

     

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