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Malaysian Airlines aircraft crashes near Ukraine border

Malaysian Airlines aircraft crashes near Ukraine border

A Malaysian Airlines passenger plane on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed near the Ukrainian border with Russia.

Flight MH17 went down earlier with 295 people on board. There are believed to be no survivors.

In a statement the carrier confirmed: “Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam.

“The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace.”

Unconfirmed reports suggest the aircraft was shot down by Russian separatists operating in Ukraine.

However, this has been denied by pro-Russian forces, according to Interfax.

The Boeing 777 came down in an area of eastern Ukraine where Russian separatist rebels have been engaging Ukrainian army forces in recent days.

A statement from Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko called for the creation of a government commission along with the Ukrainian Aviation Security Training Centre.

President Poroshenko appealed to the cabinet in order to quickly create a state commission to investigate the causes of this tragedy.

HE also proposed to involve the work of experts of the commission of the ICAO and other international organizations, and representatives of the Netherlands and Malaysia.

The plane did not enter Russian airspace when expected, having left Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport at 12:14 this afternoon, slightly behind schedule.

It had been expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 06:10 tomorrow morning.

In a Tweet, Malaysian prime minister Mohd Najib Tun said: “I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation.”

America last night tightened sanctions on Russia after Ukrainian forces accused Russia of downing one of its fighter jets.

The UK Foreign Office told the BBC it was aware of the reports of the crash and was “urgently working to establish what has happened”.

Amateur footage purporting to show the crash site:

The news comes after a Malaysian Airlines plane carrying 239 people went missing in March while on a flight from the Malaysian capital to Beijing.

The country’s government said they believed all people onboard MH370 were dead after a lengthy search in the Indian Ocean.