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LIVE BLOG: Malaysian passenger plane crash in Ukraine

Malaysia Airlines MH17 carrying 298 people has crashed in eastern Ukraine and may have been shot down by militants. 

This live blog is now closed. For the latest updates on the MH17 crash, visit our new live blog here.

LATEST

  • Malaysian PM Najib Razak at 4:40am news conference: "If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice."

  • 298 people on board MH17: At least 154 Dutch, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians, 6 Britons, 4 Germans, 4 Belgians, 3 Filipinos, 1 Canadian

  • Earlier, eyewitnesses said there were many dead at an airplane crash site in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, a stronghold of pro-Russian separatists

  • Rebels say they have found the black box of the downed jet and may agree to a ceasefire to allow access to the crash site

  • US media are quoting senior US official as saying MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile

  • Various airlines say they will avoid the Russia-Ukraine border

  • UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting on what President Obama calls a "terrible tragedy"

**TIMELINE BELOW**

  • 11:36PM SG/KL: Malaysia Airlines says it has lost contact with one of its planes MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, and that its last known position was over Ukraine. 280 passengers were reportedly on board and 15 crew members.

  • 11:40PM SG/KL: Our correspondent Jack Parrock says there are reports quoting a Ukrainian Interior Ministry official that the plane could have been shot down by militants with an anti-aircraft missile.

  • The Interior Ministry official Anton Gerashenko posted on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 metres (33,000 feet) when it was hit Thursday by a missile fired from a Buk launcher. He also posted this YouTube video of the alleged wreckage. 



  • 12:04AM SG/KL: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tweeted "I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation."



  • 12:11AM SG/KL: Boeing says on Twitter that it is investigating.

  • Lots of finger-pointing: Ukraine's separatist leader has blamed it on government forces. Ukrainian armed forces say they are not involved in the alleged MH17 crash. Meantime, word of a grim sight spreads - a Reuters correspondent on scene sees wreckage, bodies spread over kilometres

  • Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong tweets: "Shocked & saddened to hear of crash in Ukraine."

  • Ukraine officials on the scene of the alleged #MH17 crash see at least 100 bodies scattered up to 15km around crash site: Reuters

  • Ukraine's state air traffic control service confirmed the flight had crashed. It has sent a special investigation commission to the crash site.

  • US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are discussing the MH17 crash - RIA News Agency

  • Russia Today tweets what it says is the first eyewitness picture of the plane wreckage.


  • 12:30AM SG/KL: MAS releases its first statement on Facebook, saying the Boeing 777 was due to arrive in Kuala Lumpur just past 6am on Friday (July 18)

  • Our Malaysia Bureau Chief Melissa Goh says this is potentially a huge blow to Malaysia Airlines, coming 4.5 months after the disappearance of MH370 with 239 people on board.

  • Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says he is on his way to meet the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. 
  • 12:31AM SG/KL FlightRadar24 shows the flight path of MH17 and says "RIP". 
  • 12:40AM SG/KL: The office of Russian President Vladimir Putin released the following statement via the Kremlin website: "Vladimir Putin has expressed his deepest condolences to Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia with regard to the accident in Ukrainian territory of a Malaysian Airlines passenger aircraft, resulting in numerous casualties. The Russian head of state asked him to convey his sincerest words of sympathy and support to families and friends of the victims."

  • Reuters is tweeting pictures of the crash site. Some of them are too graphic for us to re-post. 

     

  • Air France, Transaero Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa are among a growing list of airlines which say they will be avoiding Ukraine airspace.

  • Ukraine President quoted by Russia's Interfax as saying the downing of MH17 is a "terrorist act"

  • Number dead from crash is more than 300, includes 23 US citizens - Ukraine government advisor says according to Interfax, however, the US State Department has yet to confirm this.

  • Tail of jet in Ukraine cornfield has insignia on it, says AFP reporter on scene.

  • 1:30AM SG/KL: Malaysian Airlines says contact was lost with MH17 from Tamak waypoint, 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border. 



  • Channel NewsAsia's Malaysia reporter Sumisha Naidu says concerned messages are flooding the Facebook wall of an MAS crew member on board MH17 
  • Dozens of Dutch citizens were booked on MH17, a flight that shares planes on some routes with Dutch airline KLM. "I am deeply shocked by the dramatic news," said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

  • Statement from British Prime Minister David Cameron: “I'm shocked and saddened by the Malaysian air disaster. Officials from across Whitehall are meeting to establish the facts.”

  • Ukrainian Interior Ministry official  Anton Gerashchenko posts an alleged timeline of events in the lead up to the plane crash on Facebook. Here's a translation:
  • Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko says: "Today at around 4.20pm, airplane 'Boeing 777' belonging to air company 'Malaysia Airlines' disappeared from radar's displays. Airplane was doing a flight MN-14 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Within the last days, it is the third tragic accident after airplanes of Ukrainian Armed Forces AN-26 and SU-25 were shot down from the Russian territory. We do not exclude the possibility that this plane was also shot down and stress that Ukrainian Armed Forces did not perform any actions to fire at targets in the air." 

  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says MH17 was flying in area that was deemed to be safe to fly. 

  • At least four French nationals on crashed Malaysia plane: French Foreign Minister. The jet was reportedly flying without problems before it disappeared from the radar.

  • US President Barack Obama: Malaysian airliner crash in Ukraine 'terrible tragedy'. He says the US will offer any assistance necessary to help determine what happened and why. Watch his statement here.

  • "I had just gone to sleep when I heard an enormous bang ... It was like an earthquake," says a resident in Grabove

  • A top Ukrainian rebel commander allegedly wrote: "We had warned (the Ukrainian armed forces) not to fly in 'our sky'. And here is a video confirming that a bird fell".

  • 2:58AM SG/KL: In Kuala Lumpur, family members whose loved ones may be on MH17 are demanding to see the passenger manifest. WATCH: Frustrated relatives wait at the airport
     
  • Amid reports that pro-Russian separatists are holding the black box, the European Union asks for all parties to give access to the crash site, via this statement.
  • RIA news agency says pro-Russian separatists could agree to a two- to three-day ceasefire to allow recovery work at the crash site.

  • 3:59AM SG/KL: The news conference in Malaysia is about to start.
     

  • The United Nations Security Council will meet on Friday for an emergency meeting on Ukraine.

  • 4:40AM SG/KL: Malaysia PM Naib Razak: No distress call from the plane. Ukraine authorities believe the plane was shot down. At this stage however, Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of the tragedy. But we must, and we will, find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone will be left unturned." Watch his full statement here. 
     
     


  • Malaysia Airlines is in the process of notifying the next of kin. Malaysia is sending a disaster assistance and rescue team on a special flight to Kiev.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine bears responsibility for the downing of the jet: "This tragedy would not have happened, if there had been peace on that land, or in any case if military operations in southeastern Ukraine had not been renewed." 
  • Officials in Malaysia have cancelled a 9am press conference in KL and will issue a statement instead. No reason was given for the cancellation.

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