Officials in Russia say it is likely an airliner that crashed in Ukraine killing all 170 passengers had been struck by lightening after encountering a thunderstorm. The Pulkovo Airlines plane was flying from Anapa on Russia’s Black sea to St Petersburg when the crash happened near the city of Donetsk. The explosion when the plane hit the ground was filmed by a local resident with a mobile phone. Counsellors were brought in to help the dozens of relatives who had been waiting for the plane’s arrival in St Petersburg.
“We are working with those who were due to meet passengers from the crashed plane,” said an airline official. “We’ll be making a list of relatives who wish to fly to Donetsk.” Officials say the dead included passengers from The Netherlands, but most of the victims were Russian. Russia and Ukraine have declared days of national mourning for those killed.