A Boeing 777 operated by Malaysia Airlines has allegedly been shot down over the Ukraine border with 295 passengers on board, just hours ago, according to news agency Interfax.
Flight MH17 was reportedly flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down inside Ukraine, just shy of the Russian border, whilst carrying 295 passengers on board. News agency Reuters posted a tweet at 17:34 stating that all 280 passengers on board and the 15 crew members on the flight are deceased.
Just 50 kilometres from the Russian border in the East of Ukraine, the plane apparently began to decline and it was found burning near the Ukraine border. According to the adviser to the Ukraine Interior Minister, the plane was apparently shot down by a BUK ground to air missile. The BUK is a Soviet-era ground-air missile which operates at medium range, specialised to engage aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, smart bombs and cruise missiles. Modern versions of the BUK can reach a distance of up to 25 km.
Malaysia Airlines last sent a tweet at 17:38 reading, “Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow.”
The area where the plane went down is reportedly a war-zone where the Ukranian army is fighting pro-Russian militants and on July 8, 2014, the area was declared closed to civilian aircraft by the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine after a military plane, transporting goods was shot down earlier this year.
The Ukraine Prime Minister has issued a statement, ordering an investigation into this, “Airplane catastrophe,” which occurred in his country.
At the current moment in time Russia Today issued a statement saying that the Russian-backed Ukranian rebels have denied any involvement in the Malaysia Airlines crash. The rebels stated that they simply do not possess such military equipment.
The wreckage and dead bodies have been located near the Hrabovo Village, near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.