Thursday, July 17, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Passenger Plane Shot Down over Ukraine, 295 Aboard
A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane crashed in Ukraine this morning, reports Reuters, and a Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser is saying that the plane was shot down and its 280 passengers and 15 crew are feared dead. The plane, which originated in Amsterdam and was bound for Kuala Lumpur, was flying at 33,000 feet when it "began to drop, afterwards it was found burning on the ground on Ukrainian territory," a witness tells Interfax; it apparently came down 25 miles short of the Russian border, in the village of Grabovo. The region has seen fierce fighting in recent days, notes the AP. Malaysia Airlines confirmed via Twitter that it "has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace."

Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, immediately responded, as per the AP, saying that while "we do not exclude that this plane was shot down, and we stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets." Malaysia Airlines' initial statement is here.

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