A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet has crashed in eastern Ukraine killing all 298 people on board.
Flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday afternoon when it came down close to the Russian border. It had been due to enter Russian airspace but lost contact shortly beforehand.
The United States said the Boeing 777 was “blown out of the sky”, probably by a ground-launched missile.
Both pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s restive east and the Kyiv government have accused each other of shooting down the plane.
Most of the passengers were Dutch, but there were also 45 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, and one Canadian on board. Some of the passengers were heading to a major international AIDS conference in Melbourne.
The Malaysian Prime Minister, who is dealing with his country’s second plane crash this year, promised that “no stone would be left unturned” and that anyone responsible would be brought to justice “swiftly.”
All that was left of the plane was charred wreckage. Local residents reported seeing parts of bodies strewn in nearby fields.
The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting about Ukraine on Friday and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged a full international investigation.