Loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Breaking news and updates from the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine.

Pro-Russia separatists stand guard at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. 
A piece of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 lies on the ground next to a group of Ukrainian coal miners searching the crash site. 
 People search for the remains of victims.
Belongings of passengers lie in the grass. 
 A Ukrainian police officer searches in a field in Grabovka, Ukraine, near a huge piece of wreckage.
 Debris from the jet lies on the burnt ground in Ukraine.
 People walk amongst the debris at the crash site of Malaysia Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.
People inspect a piece of wreckage believed to be from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine. This image was posted to Twitter. 

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Thanks for joining us as we covered the first hours of the tragic shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, with the loss of 298 lives.

Our live coverage of this unfolding international story will continue on CNN TV, CNN.com and CNN on all your mobile devices. 

Here is a little of what we’ve found out about what happened, to whom and why.

Signing off now from me, Rachel Clarke, on behalf of my fellow bloggers Mariano Castillo, Steve Almasy and Ed Payne.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin:  Condolences to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

    Vladimir Putin expressed his profound condolences to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte following the air disaster over Ukraine's territory, in which a Malaysian Airlines plane went down with all on board killed, including numerous Dutch citizens.

    Mr Putin said that this tragedy only underscores yet again the urgent need for a peaceful settlement to the serious crisis in Ukraine.
    The President also called for a thorough and objective investigation into all circumstances surrounding the disaster.

    Mr Putin asked Mr Rutte to pass on his words of sympathy and support to the victims' families and friends and to all people in the Netherlands.
  • Ukraine PM calls for justice for the "bastards" who committed this crime

    "We ask all respective governments to participate in this investigation and to support the Ukrainian government to bring to justice all these bastards who committed this international crime"
  • CNN's Tom Foreman takes a look at the Buk air defense system, and what it is capable of.


    Ladies and gentlemen,  I will now give a brief statement on the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

    On behalf of the Malaysian government, and the Malaysian people, I would like to offer my deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.
    Our hearts go out to those who have been affected by this tragedy.

    In recent hours, officials in the US and the Ukraine have indicated that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down.
    Should this be confirmed, it would contravene international law, and be an outrage against human decency.

    Malaysia condemns any such action in the strongest possible terms, and calls for those responsible to be swiftly brought to justice.


    As set out in the International Civil Aviation Organization's Annex 13, the Ukrainian government will institute the investigation into the circumstances of the accident, and be responsible for the conduct of the investigation.
    Updates on the investigation will be provided to the next of kin by the investigating authority, as per the ICAO guidelines.
    Malaysia offers its full and unqualified support to the investigation. Malaysia has been formally invited to participate, and will send two senior accredited representatives to assist.

    Malaysia also welcomes calls for an independent international investigation into the incident, and urges all parties to co-operate to ensure such an investigation can be completed. 

    It is essential that the integrity of the crash site be preserved, out of respect for the investigation and for those who have died.


    Malaysia Airlines takes its responsibilities to the next of kin seriously.
    The airline has arranged for some 40 staff to be flown to Amsterdam, to support the families.

    Separately, as the Prime Minister announced this morning, Malaysia will today dispatch a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team to Kiev.

    In total, 62 people -- 30 SMART team members, 15 medical staff, 10 Royal Malaysia Air Force representatives, 5 Malaysia Airlines staff, 2 Department of Civil Aviation staff -- are travelling to Kiev.


    Earlier today, Malaysia Airlines released a list of those on board the flight and their nationalities.
      The list included 41 passengers whose nationality could not be verified at the time, as they were in transit from previous flights, and had not entered passport control in Amsterdam.

    21 of these passengers' nationalities have now been verified, and 20 remain to be verified.

    The latest breakdown of known nationalities of those on board is as follows: 

    •    173 from the Netherlands

    •    44 Malaysians
    •    27 Australians
    •    12 Indonesians
    •    9 from the United Kingdom
    •    4 Germans
    •    4 Belgians
    •    3 Filipinos
    •    1 Canadian
    •    1 New Zealander 

    Malaysia Airlines is in the process of notifying the next of kin of those on board.
    Once all families have been contacted, the passenger manifest will be released. In addition, Malaysia Airlines will release the cargo manifest later today.

    Responsibility for releasing further information about the investigation rests with the investigating authority, which in this case is the Ukrainian National  Bureau of Air Accidents and Incidents Investigation with Civil Aircraft.


    The flight path taken by MH17 was approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization, and by the countries whose airspace the route passed through.
    And the International Air Transportation Association has also stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was unrestricted. 

    15 out of 16 airlines in the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines fly this route over Ukraine.

    European airlines also use the same route, and traverse the same airspace.
    In the hours before the incident, a number of other passenger aircraft from different carriers used the same route.

    There were no last minute instructions given to the pilots of MH17 to change the route of the flight. 

    Earlier today, Malaysia Airlines released a statement on the aircraft's service record, which showed the aircraft had a clean bill of health.
    They have also confirmed that all the aircraft's systems were functioning normally. ACARS and the aircraft's  transponders were working and transmitting as normal.


    Ladies and gentlemen,

    Before I take your questions, I would like to reiterate Malaysia's condemnation of any attack on innocent civilians; its support for an independent international investigation; and most of all, its sympathies with those affected by this tragedy.

    MH17 was carrying 298 passengers and crew.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at what must be an incredibly difficult time.

  • McCain: Putin 'responsible' if pro-Russian separatists shot down plane in Ukraine wp.me/p4HKM-1hcn
  • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak addressed reporters to discuss the MH17 plane crash in Ukraine.

  • UK emergency session

    British Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a government
    crisis response committee meeting on Friday morning in response to the crash of MH17, No. 10 Downing Street told CNN.
  • Loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 fb.me/1mlXgVnwd
  • Australian PM:  28 Australians among MH17 victims

    The final count of Australian victims on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is 28, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said at a news conference in Canberra.

    Abbott also said that he is pushing a United Nations effort to ensure there is a full and thorough investigation into the disaster.

    The Russian ambassador to Australia was called in to explain Moscow's position and potential involvement, Abbott said, and that the Russian's blamed Ukraine for the incident.

    "This is not an accident, it's a crime and criminals should not be allowed to get away with what they have done," Abbott said. 

    "Australia takes a very dim view indeed of countries that are facilitating the killing of Australian citizens," the PM said speaking about Russia and Australia "wants the fullest possible investigation."
  • The Ukrainian government released audio of pro-Russian separatists discussing MH17. CNN can not verify its authenticity.

  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott orders flags at half-staff for victims for MH17

    I have instructed that the Australian National Flag be flown at half-mast tomorrow on all Australian Government establishments, here and overseas, as a mark of respect to the Australians who have lost their lives in the tragic grounding of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

    The Governor-General and I will attend a church service at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney on Sunday as we stand together as a nation at this difficult time.

    A National Commemorative Service will be held at a later time when the families of those who have lost their lives have had time to comprehend this horrific event.

    At this time, there will be a National Day of Mourning and flags will be flown at half-mast once more.
  • Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono commented on MH17 from the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Friday

    • "In the name of the state and government of Indonesia, and personal behalf I expressed deepest condolence to our friend country Malaysia, and the families of the victims"
    • "Indonesia calls for an international investigation, if it's true that the civil plane was shot down by military weapon, it is the violation of international law and the law of war."
    • "If the investigation proves that it is really the case, Indonesia really hopes that the perpetrator will be given a firm legal sanction."
    • "As for the international investigation (team), Indonesia is ready to join."
    • "I have instructed for Indonesian airlines to avoid the military conflict areas, especially in Ukraine, the border of Ukraine and Russia, and Gaza."
  • Freelance journalist Noah Sneider describes what he witnessed upon arriving at the MH17 crash site.

  • The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe announced it is sending a team to the MH17 crash zone in eastern Ukraine.
  • Our advance team enroute to E. Ukraine via MI-8M. #MH17 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BszNRHICYAAu1QB.jpg

  • FAA expands US flight restrictions to eastern Ukraine airspace

    On the evening of July 17, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airman (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. flight operations until further notice, in the airspace over eastern Ukraine, due to recent events and the potential for continued hazardous activities. The restricted area includes the entire Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk flight information regions (FIRs).  This action expands a prohibition of U.S. flight operations issued by the FAA in April, over the Crimean region of Ukraine and adjacent areas of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.  No scheduled U.S. airlines are currently flying routes through this airspace.
  • Official:  Canada had at least one citizen on board MH17

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew members aboard flight MH17. We are aware of at least one Canadian citizen who is among the deceased and Canadian consular officials stand ready to provide assistance. To respect the privacy of the family during this difficult time, no further details will be released. Friends and relatives in Canada with information on Canadian citizens known to be on board Flight MH17 should contact DFATD's Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 1 800 387-3124, or by sending an email to sos@international.gc.ca"

    From Saro Khatchadourian, Press Secretary for the Office of the Minister of State
  • Unlike #MH17 a dawn plane flies unmolested over #Kiev #Poroshenko - #US #Dutch #Mal 2 help establish investigation http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bsyw-QMIYAAhGXW.jpg

  • At #MH17 crash site, 'everything rained down in bits and pieces' cnn.it/1jVNe2W Powerful descriptions from @NoahSneider #CNN
  • CNN's Rene Marsh reports on the timeline of events that took place before Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed.

  • "We offer our deep condolences to all those who lost loved ones on board." —@PressSec on #MH17: http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bsy1UqDCAAALk1m.png

  • Aussie PM: MH17 'looks less accident than crime'

    The downing of MH17 "looks less like an accident than a crime," Australian Prime Minister said in Canberra on Friday.

    "If so, the perpetrators must be brought to justice," Abbott told the Australian parliament.

    He confirmed that 27 Australians were on MH17.

    "This is a grim day for our country," he said.

    "We owe it .
    .. to the families of the dead to find out exactly what has happened and exactly who is responsible."

  • CNN's Anderson Cooper talks with a friend of a few of the flight attendants who were on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

  • Statement by the White House Press Secretary on Malaysian Airlines
    Flight 17

    The United States is shocked by the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, and we offer our deep condolences to all those who lost loved ones on board.  We continue to seek information to determine whether there were any American citizens on board.

    It is critical that there be a full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation as quickly as possible.  We urge all concerned -- Russia, the pro-Russian separatists, and Ukraine -- to support an immediate cease-fire in order to ensure safe and unfettered access to the crash site for international investigators and in order to facilitate the recovery of remains. The role of international organizations -- such as the United Nations and the OSCE in Ukraine -- may be particularly relevant for this effort, and we will be in touch with affected nations and our partners in these organizations in the coming hours and days to determine the best path forward.  In the meantime, it is vital that no evidence be tampered with in any way and that all potential evidence and remains at the crash site are undisturbed.  The United States remains prepared to contribute immediate assistance to any international investigation, including through resources provided by the NTSB and the FBI.

    While we do not yet have all the facts, we do know that this incident occurred in the context of a crisis in Ukraine that is fueled by Russian support for the separatists, including through arms, materiel, and training.  This incident only highlights the urgency with which we continue to urge Russia to immediately take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine and to support a sustainable cease-fire and path toward peace that the Ukrainian government has consistently put forward.
  • U.S. official: Ukraine without air defense in that region

    A U.S. official tells CNN's Jake Tapper that the Obama administration doesn't think the government of Ukraine has air defenses in the region  where Malaysia Air Flight 17 was shot down and crashed, though Ukraine may have those air defense systems in other parts of the country.

    That leads the administration to conclude that Ukraine did not have the capability, let alone the motivation, to shoot down the plane.

    The official also tells CNN that Friday will see the Obama administration attempting to "internationalize" the wreckage site, with the international community pressuring the pro-Russian militias to allow others from outside countries to see the site to inspect the damage and determine the cause of the crash.

    If the separatists attempt to either move materials from the site, or they refuse to cooperate,  they will risk implicating themselves in the disaster, the official tells CNN.

  • Ukraine President address nation

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke to his countrymen Thursday night and offered his condolences to the next of kin of the 298 people who were killed.

    "On behalf of the Ukrainian state, I express deep and sincere condolences to families and friends of the innocent victims. Ukraine grieves with you," he said. 

    He said several nations would be involved in the investigation into the incident.

    "Pursuant to my instruction, an Emergency State Commission has been established to investigate the reasons of the disaster. Experts from the International Civil Aviation Organizationthe Netherlands, Malaysia and the United States have been involved in its work," he said, according to a CNN translation. 

  • FAA expands flight restrictiions

    Due to the MH17 crash and other planes being shot down, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has prohibited U.S. commercial and private pilots from flying in new areas over eastern Ukraine. 

    The FAA notes "no scheduled U.S. airlines are currently flying routes through this airspace."

    The advisory says, in part: Until further notice, due to recent events, all flight operations by United States Operators within the Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk (flight information regions) are prohibited. Events have indicated the potential for continued hazardous activities."
  • Official: President Obama wants more details

    Washington wants to determine more precisely the facts that led to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 before President Barack Obama makes further comments. a senior administration official tells CNN.

    At this point the administration is confident in the assessment revealed by a U.S. official earlier  that a missile shot down the aircraft, CNN's Jim Acosta reports. 

    But the administration is not prepared to provide further details about whether there were Americans on board the airliner and how many. 

    Thid official noted that National Transportation Safety Board and FBI officials eventually will head to Ukraine and may ultimately go to the scene of the crash to provide expertise in an advisory role to the Ukrainian government.

    Those officials won't be leading the investigation.  The official said their departure time is not set.

  • Malaysia Airlines #MH17 flight route was declared safe and unrestricted by ICAO & IATA - bit.ly/MH17updates

  • Some passengers apparently headed to AIDS conference

    An AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia, that begins in a few days was the apparent destination of some of the passengers.

    Officials issued this statement: "The International AIDS Society (IAS) today expresses its sincere sadness at receiving news that a number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference ...  were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today.

    At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy."
  • Death toll update

    Malaysia Airlines says three infants were on board Flight 17 making the death toll 298 people.

    Authorities are still trying to confirm the nationalities of 41 passengers. 

    Malaysia Airlines statement said:
    154 passengers were Dutch
    43 people on the flight were Malaysian (including 15 crew)
    27 aboard were Australian
    12 were Indonesian
    9 were British
    4 were German
    4 were Belgian
    3 were Filipino
    1 was Canadian

    Officials earlier had said there were 45 Malaysians on board, then revised the figure.
  • U.N. meeting Friday

    The U.N. Security Council will hold a meeting on the crash at 10 a.m. Friday. The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman of the United States, will begin the open meeting with a briefing before representatives of nations that want to address the body make remarks.
  • The timeline before MH17 crashed

    CNN's Rene Marsh reports on the timeline of events that took place before Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed.

  • The chairman of the Secret Service of #Ukraine says terrorists visited and surveyed the crash site of #MH17 : cnn.it/1qiHJhd
  • Working into the night 

    A fire fighter stands to the side as flames ignite from the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Thursday night. 

  • How U.S. officials concluded plane was shot down

    CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr describes how U.S. officials determined someone shot a surface-to-air missile at the plane and what steps they are taking next.

  • Obama, Poroshenko talk

    U.S. President Barack Obama is concerned about the integrity of the investigation into the crash. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta points out a key line in the readout of Obama's conversation  with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
    "The Presidents emphasized that all evidence from the crash site must remain in
    place on the territory of Ukraine until international investigators are able to
    examine all aspects of the tragedy," the White House said.

  • Not many weapons can take down a commercial airliner at 33,000 ft. Here's one that can: cnn.it/1mlLwlC #MH17 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BsxsscFIAAEUJAF.png

  • State Department: Unclear if Americans were aboard

    A senior State Department official tells CNN's Elise Labott  that Washington has the manifest of passengers aboard the Malaysian Airlines flight and is going through it.

    “So far there are no American names to confirm,” the official said.

    The official cautioned that doesn’t mean there are no Americans aboard. With such a long list of passengers, the official said there are some common names and others do not have passport numbers attached to them.

    There could also be citizens of other countries with dual American nationality. 

    So far the State Department has not received inquiries from American citizens who say their family members were aboard, the official said.


  • Some passengers still strapped into their seats

    Freelance journalist Noah Sneider tells CNN no one is thinking about looting at the crash scene. He said workers were setting up flood lights as night had fallen.

    Some passengers were still strapped in their seats but others were so destroyed he couldn't tell if they were male or female. 
  • Malaysia PM: 'No stone can be left unturned'

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says his country cannot verify that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. 

    He said nothing should be overlooked in an investigation into the cause.

    If it was a shoot-down then "we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be
    brought to justice."
  • U.N. calls for objective inquiry into crash

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is closely monitoring reports from Ukraine. 

    "There is clearly a need a full and transparent international
    For the moment I offer my deep condolences to families and
    victims of loved ones," he told reporters.

  • Nationalities of passengers

    We've just got word of the nationalities of those on board MH17 from Malaysia Airlines:
    • 154 were Dutch 
    • 38 were Malaysian -- 23 passengers and all 15 crew members
    • 27 were Australian
    • 11 were Indonesian
    • 6 were British 
    • 4 were Belgian
    • 4 were German
    • 3 were Filipino
    • 1 was Canadian
    That leaves 47 whose nationalities are unknown at this point.

    There are no known survivors. 

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