300 Feared Dead As Malaysia Jet Crashes In East Ukraine Conflict Zone

The crash site in Ukraine
The crash site in Ukraine

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.

Bodies are scattered around what is believed to be the wreckage of the jet near the village of Grabovo, which is under the control of separatist rebels.

Flight MH17 had been due to enter Russian airspace when contact was lost.

Ukraine’s president called the loss of the plane an “act of terrorism” as the rebels denied shooting it down.

The separatists are believed to have shot down two Ukrainian military planes over the region in recent days.

There is no official closure of Ukraine airspace but Germany’s Lufthansa, Air France and Turkish Airlines are all now avoiding eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s emergency services have reportedly asked the Ukrainian government for permission to work at the crash site.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke of his shock and said he was launching an immediate inquiry into the crash.

US President Barack Obama has said the crash of the airliner was a “terrible tragedy” and that US officials were trying to establish if any Americans had been on board.

Mr Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the crash earlier, the Kremlin said in a statement (in Russian).

 

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