Channel NewsAsia

"Outrage against human decency" if MH17 shot down: Malaysia

Malaysia's transport minister said Friday it would constitute an "outrage against human decency" if it is confirmed that flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's transport minister said Friday it would constitute an "outrage against human decency" if it is confirmed that flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

The Malaysia Airlines flight was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed Thursday in eastern Ukraine with 298 passengers and crew aboard, including 44 Malaysian citizens.

No survivors have been found.

US officials said the Boeing 777-200 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, a possible casualty of a violent rebellion in the area by pro-Russia insurgents.

"Should this be confirmed, it would contravene international law, and be an outrage against human decency," Liow Tiong Lai, the Malaysian minister, told reporters.

Global shock and outrage mounted Friday over the tragedy as questions swirled as to who was responsible.

The plane came down in cornfields in separatist-held eastern Ukraine.

Kiev accused pro-Russian separatists battling Ukrainian forces of committing a "terrorist act" as stunned world leaders urged a full investigation into the disaster, which could further fan the flames of Russia's confrontation with Ukraine, the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.

The United States demanded an "unimpeded" international inquiry into the tragedy amid concerns the crash site was vulnerable to evidence tampering among scattered debris.

The United States rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin's charge that Ukraine's crackdown on separatist rebels stoked tensions that led to the crash.

Liow said Ukrainian authorities would take control of an investigation, under international conventions on plane crashes, but added that Malaysia was sending two personnel to assist directly in the probe.

He said Malaysia was sending a total of 62 people to Kiev, including disaster response and rescue personnel, medical experts, and representatives of the Malaysian air force, Malaysia Airlines and the country's Department of Civil Aviation.

He did not give details on the larger team's expected activities there.


Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia