UPDATE: U.S. officials have confirmed the jetliner was hit by a surface-to-air missile as it cruised over a hostile region of Ukraine. According to Vice President Joe Biden, it was “shot down, not an accident. Blown out of the sky.” It remains unclear whether the missile was fired from inside Ukrainian or Russian territory, as well as who fired it.
Reports are flooding in that a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet has gone down in Ukraine, near the Russian border. The Boeing 777 plane was headed to Kuala Lampur.
Here’s the most recent report from ABC News:
Malaysia Air said it “lost contact” with one of its passenger planes today over Ukraine near the border with Russia. The airline said in a tweet that the plane, Flight MH17 from Amsterdam, had its “last known position was over Ukraine airspace.”
Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow.
— Malaysia Airlines (@MAS) July 17, 2014
In a statement, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the plane “disappeared from radar screens.”
“In recent days, this is the third tragic accident after the Russian territory were downed aircraft AN-26 and SU-25 Armed Forces of Ukraine. We do not exclude that this aircraft was also shot down, and stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not commit any action to defeat the purposes of the air,” he added.
Multiple outlets have reported that the plane, which was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members, was shot down from cruising altitude.
We’ll keep you updated as soon as we know more. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this terrible tragedy. Our hearts are with you.
Photo source: Twitter