Thu11232017

LAST_UPDATEThu, 23 Nov 2017 6pm

[UPDATE 00:08 Hours] 23 July 2014 Malaysian Passenger Plane Crashes In Ukraine Near Russian Border

Pic: A Fly Guy’s Cabin Crew Lounge FacebookPic: A Fly Guy’s Cabin Crew Lounge Facebook

 

MH17: Britain To Analyse Black Boxes - PM Cameron

LONDON : Britain has agreed to a Dutch request for air accident investigators to retrieve data from the black boxes of the Malaysia Airlines plane that was downed over Ukraine with the loss of 298 lives, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday.

The two boxes may shed light on Western claims that flight MH17 was shot down with a Russian surface-to-air missile fired from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

“We’ve agreed Dutch request for air accident investigators at Farnborough to retrieve data from MH17 black boxes for international analysis,” Cameron said on Twitter.

The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), based in Farnborough, southern England, is part of the Department for Transport and is responsible for the investigation of civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents.

- Reuters

 

Prime Minister Welcomes Progress On MH17 Agreement

Last night, I reached an agreement with Alexander Borodai to bring an end to the standoff over the MH17 crash site. Our agreement rested on three conditions:

- the return of the remains of those who lost their lives;

- the handover of the black boxes;

- and full access to the crash site so that the investigation may begin.

I am pleased to confirm that the first two conditions have now been met. The train carrying the remains of those who lost their lives has arrived in Kharkhiv, where arrangements will be made to move them to Amsterdam.

And the Malaysian team have taken custody of the black boxes, which appear to be in good condition. They will held securely in Malaysian custody while the international investigation team is being formalised. At that time, we will pass the black boxes to the international investigation team for further analysis.

These were extraordinary circumstances which called for extraordinary measures. There were risks involved in pursuing this agreement. But we felt an obligation to explore all avenues to break the impasse, and secure the return of the remains and the black boxes. After meeting the families, I felt that we owed it to them to act.

So far, the agreement has been honoured. Malaysia requests that this co-operation continue, and that investigators are granted the full access to the site which was agreed.

I am relieved that we have been able to secure the breakthrough that has allowed us to move forward.

I would like to thank the Malaysian team on the ground, who have worked hard to support this operation. Thanks to their efforts, we are closer to finding out what happened to aircraft, and fulfilling our shared responsibility to those who lost their lives.

 

--Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak- Prime Minister

Verified Facebook Account

https://www.facebook.com/najibrazak

 

Train Carrying MH17 Bodies Arrive In Ukraine's Kharkiv

KHARKIV: A train carrying bodies of victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines jet MH17 on Tuesday (July 22) arrived in the Kiev-controlled territory of Kharkiv, said Reuters. Ukraine on Monday said the bodies will be taken to the Netherlands.

The bodies, which were placed in rail wagons, were inspected by Dutch investigators on Monday in Torez, before the train set off for Kharkiv.

Malaysia on Tuesday received two black boxes recovered at the crash site from pro-Russian rebels. One of the boxes will contain all conversation in the cockpit and another all flight data.

However, it is unclear how useful this will be in determining what happened to the flight, which is believed by Kiev and world leaders to have been shot down by a surface-to-air-missile.

MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in rebel-held east Ukraine. 298 people were killed, and 193 of the victims were Dutch.

--Channel News Asia

 

MH17: Probe Should Be Done By “International Community”, Not Ukraine - Russia

KUALA LUMPUR: Russia has called for the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 to be led by the "international community" and not Ukraine, its ambassador to Malaysia said today.

"This situation is quite unique, the area is a war zone. I think the international community should be flexible about that and act in a way acceptable to all sides," Russian ambassador to Malaysia Lyudmila Vorobyeva said in a news conference.

"Russia has been calling for a fair, thorough and full investigation led by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) since the beginning," she said.

Under ICAO rules the country where the incident happened, in this case Ukraine, should lead the investigation.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down last week in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board. The aircraft's black boxes, which could hold information about the crash in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, were handed to Malaysian officials this morning.

"We've been calling for an investigation lead by ICAO. The reason for that is that the rebels, as we understand do not trust the government of Kiev," said Vorobyeva.

"That's why they were reluctant to hand over anything (including) the black boxes to the Ukrainian side because they are afraid the evidence would be tampered with."

 

- Reuters

 

‘MH17 Did Not Deviate’

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines said yesterday that MH17 did not deviate from its planned flight route.

In a statement to the New Straits Times, the airline said: “As confirmed by Malaysia Airlines’ director of operations, Captain Izham Ismail, during the press briefing at Sama-Sama Hotel on July 19, 2014, MH17 did not deviate from its flight plan route”.

The national carrier said based on its flight tracking system, the aircraft did follow its flight plan.

“To maintain its assigned track, the flight computer system will adjust the heading to cater for wind changes.”

- New Straits Times

 

Prime Minister Najib Razak Statement On MH17 Agreement

In recent days, we have been working behind the scenes to establish contact with those in charge of the MH17 crash site.

That contact has now been made. Under difficult and fluid circumstances, we have been discussing the problems that have occupied us all: securing vital evidence from the aircraft, launching an independent investigation, and above all recovering the remains of those who lost their lives.

Tonight, we have established the basis of an agreement to do just that.

Earlier this evening I spoke to Alexander Borodai, who is in command of the region where the tragedy occurred. We have agreed the following:

Firstly, the remains of 282 people, currently in Torez, will be moved by train to Kharkiv, where they will be handed over to representatives from the Netherlands. The train will depart this evening Ukraine time, and will be accompanied by six Malaysian members of the recovery team. The remains will then be flown to Amsterdam on board a Dutch C130 Hercules, together with the Malaysian team. Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens will then be flown home to Malaysia.

Secondly, at approximately 9pm tonight Ukraine time, the two black boxes will be handed over to a Malaysian team in Donetsk, who will take custody of them.

Thirdly, independent international investigators will be guaranteed safe access to the crash site to begin a full investigation of the incident.

I must stress that although agreement has been reached, there remain a number of steps required before it is completed.

There is work still to be done, work which relies on continued communication in good faith. Mr Borodai and his people have so far given their co-operation.

I ask that all parties continue to work together to ensure that this agreement is honoured; that the remains of our people are returned, that the black box is handed over, and that the international team is granted full access to the site.

Only then can the investigation into MH17 truly begin; only then can the victims be afforded the respect they deserve. We need to know what caused the plane to crash, and who was responsible for it, so that justice may be done.

In recent days, there were times I wanted to give greater voice to the anger and grief that the Malaysian people feel. And that I feel. But sometimes, we must work quietly in the service of a better outcome.

I understand that for the families, nothing can undo this damage. The lives taken cannot be given back; the dignity lost cannot be regained.

My heart reaches out to those whose loved ones were lost on MH17. We hope and pray that the agreement reached tonight helps bring them a clear step towards closure.

--Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak- Prime Minister

Verified Facebook Account

https://www.facebook.com/najibrazak

 

 

Malaysia Airlines' Two Black Boxes 'To Be Handed Over' To Investigators, Says Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

As fighting raged in Ukraine’s Donetsk region -- compounding to further unrest following the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane that left 298 people dead, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said today that the jetliner's two black boxes "will be handed over to a Malaysian team in Donetsk, who will take custody of them."

"In recent days, we have been working behind the scenes to establish contact with those in charge of the MH17 crash site," he said. "That contact has now been made. Under difficult and fluid circumstances, we have been discussing the problems that have occupied us all: securing vital evidence from the aircraft, launching an independent investigation, and above all recovering the remains of those who lost their lives."

It is unclear who currently is in custody of the black boxes.

President Obama On Russian Separatists: ‘What Exactly Are They Trying To Hide’

‘Enormous Array of Facts’ That Russia Supported Rebels Accused of Shooting Down Plane, Says John Kerry

Australian Newlyweds Escape MH17 Tragedy

Earlier today, President Obama called on Russian President Vladimir Putin "to compel" Russian-backed separatists to stop interfering with the probe of the plane that was hit Thursday by a missile.

Obama, speaking from the South Lawn of the White House, said Russian-backed separatists, who are controlling the 10-mile site, need to allow investigators to recover bodies. He said they had previously fired their weapons in the air when investigators approached the scene and have tampered with evidence.

"Russia, and President Putin in particular, has a direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation," Obama said.

More than 270 bodies have been recovered at the site, authorities said, with the hope of transporting the bodies to Amsterdam. The bodies have been loaded onto a refrigerated train.

A team of international monitors, including three from the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team and two American investigators, arrived in eastern Ukraine today and began studying the wreckage.

Obama also said that if Russia continued to support violence against the Ukrainian people, it would face further isolation from the international community. Obama said he hopes to see the dispute settled diplomatically.

The chaotic recovery effort continued ahead of a vote expected today by the U.N. Security Council on an Australia-proposed resolution demanding international access to the crash site and a cease-fire around the area.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his country would view a Russian veto of the resolution "very badly," adding that "no reasonable person" could object to its wording.

“Having these people in control of the site is like leaving criminals in control of a crime scene,” Abbott said of the Russian-backed rebels.

Pressure has been growing on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who the U.S. and others say has backed and armed the rebels, to rein in the insurgents in Ukraine and allow a full-scale investigation. The rebels have been blamed around the world for downing the plane, though Putin blamed Ukraine's government.

In a statement released prior to Obama's comments, Putin blamed Ukraine authorities for reigniting fighting with the pro-Russian rebels who control the crash region.

“It is necessary that all the people who are responsible for the situation in the region improved their responsibility to their own people and to the peoples of those countries whose representatives have been victims of this disaster,” the statement read.

This morning, local rescue workers had piled 21 black body bags by the side of the road in Hrabove, Ukraine. It was unclear how quickly they would be transported to refrigerated rail cars in the nearby town of Torez, where nearly 200 other passengers remained in boxcars at a train station.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country lost 192 citizens on the plane, told a news conference that repatriating the bodies was his "No. 1 priority."

-ABC News

 

MH17: 'He Doesn't Understand Who The Rebels Are. He Just Wants His Mother To Come Home'

 

Muhriz Marzaidi, 10, is the son of Mastura Mustafa, a 40-year-old mother and air hostess, who was killed on Flight MH17 last week

"He doesn't understand why this happened in Ukraine, or who the rebels are," said Hamdan Jaafar, the boy's uncle. "He just asks about when he will receive the body. When it will come home."

Muhriz's mother was Mastura Mustafa, a 40-year-old air stewardess who was one of 15 crew members on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 when it crashed.

Ever since Flight MH370 disappeared on its way to China in March, Ms Mustafa had refused to take shifts on planes travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. She feared the hostility of angry Chinese passengers, relatives said. But she had no qualms about continuing to fly, a passion since she joined the company at the age of just 18.

Munriah Mustafa, her 52-year-old sister, recalled how a teenage Mastura had secretly snuck off to an interview with the airline because she believed her parents would not approve of her globe-trotting ambitions.

"She was always very focused on her work but family always came first," she added.

Ten years ago, that family was blessed with a new member: a baby boy who was named Muhriz Marzaidi.

In Ms Mustafa's sitting room, shelves crammed with photographs of her son and books such as "The Boots Guide to Pregnancy" and "The Secret Language of Babies" pay testament to her enthusiasm for motherhood.

Mr Jaafar, 54, described his sister-in-law as a doting mother.

"Every time she came back she'd bring something for her son: toys, or maybe chocolate, a T-shirt," he said.

Sometimes Muhriz was even allowed to join his mother on her trips abroad. In recent years he had flown to Cape Town and London, his uncle said. "He would get very excited."

Muhriz was asleep when news of his mother's death reached his family home at around midnight last Thursday. It came via her brother who also works at Malaysia Airlines and had seen a copy of the MH17 flight manifest.

When Muhriz woke the next day for "suhoor", the daily predawn meal taken by Muslims before Ramadan fasting, he sensed something was wrong.

"He stood up and said that he had dreamed of his mum, all dressed in white, saying that she would not be coming back," said his uncle. "She told the boy that her time had come."

On Monday, his first day back at school since the disaster, Muhriz was putting on a brave face. "I'm just fine," he said, welcoming his visitors with a toothy, childish grin.

"I'm tired," he went on, hurling his backpack onto the sitting room carpet and sinking into the sofa. "I'm fasting."

Relatives said the boy's grief came in waves.

"At first he was shocked. He cried several times. He couldn't believe the news that his mother had passed away," said his uncle, who has been driving his nephew to school while Mohamed Afindi, the boy's father, seeks information on the whereabouts of his wife's body.

"Right now, we are here to look after him. But at night we don't know how he is."

Muhriz's greatest desire was to see his mother's body returned to Malaysia.

Relatives hope to bury her alongside her mother and sister at the Paroi Muslim Cemetery near their suburban family home in Seremban, a town around 35 miles from Kuala Lumpur.

"The rebels should show some humanity. Why are the rebels doing all this? It was not an army or fighters on the aircraft," Mr Jaafar said.

"They are pro-Russia, right? So why doesn't Putin just tell them to stop? Putin has the power, doesn't he? It would solve it."

Muhriz's father said he wanted to travel to Kiev to find and recover his dead wife. The Malaysian government has said it hopes to fly four people from each victim's family there.

Asked how he was coping, Mr Afindi broke down: "Only God knows. I'm speechless. I don't know what to say."

In the cabinet behind him a portrait of his wife had been placed beside five miniature Malaysia Airlines planes, photographs of her son as a toddler, and a poem.

"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too love for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice," it read. "But for those who love, time is eternity."

--The Telegraph

 

MH17: Ukrainians Share Pain At Malaysian Embassy

KIEV: The Malaysian embassy here has been receiving a steady stream of visitors since Thursday.

Some left tributes to the souls lost in the MH17 tragedy.

Scores of bouquets line one wall outside the embassy, as do teddy bears, other stuffed toys and messages and religious iconography.

Most of the messages were in the local language, making it no less poignant, but driving home the point that Ukrainians in general feel the pain of the families who have lost loved ones.

The more "important" visitors place their tributes, then enter the embassy to sign a condolence book and speak with Malaysian ambassador to Ukraine Chuah Teong Ban or one of his representatives, a regular occurrence considering Chuah is a busy man these days.

Embassy staff say tears are a regular sight among well-wishers, another fact that proves the sincerity of the regular Ukrainian, and in fact the world.

And why not? The MH17 tragedy does not belong to Malaysia alone. It does not belong merely to the countries whose citizens were aboard the aircraft.

It is a tragedy that affects the entire world.

--New Straits Times

 

MH17: Rescuers Find 251 Bodies At Crash Site

KIEV: Rescuers found 251 bodies and 86 fragments of bodies by late on Sunday at the crash site of a Malaysian airliner and a second train with refrigerator wagons to take the remains away has arrived, a Ukrainian government committee said.

In a statement, the committee investigating the disaster said the first train where the remains of almost 200 victims have been placed before starting their journey home was stuck in the station in the town of Torez because “terrorists are blocking its exit.”

--REUTERS

 

Colleagues’ Unite

KUALA LUMPUR: FLIGHT attendants worldwide have come together in the Facebook page “A Fly Guy’s Cabin Crew Lounge”, flooding it with messages to the crew of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The page, which was initially started for flight attendants to connect and share their stories and photographs, has turned into an avenue for condolences and sympathies for the MH17 crew, who died in a crash in Ukraine on Thursday.

A post titled “Letters of Love to Malaysia Airlines”, uploaded 151 photos containing letters of love and support made by airline employees all over the world.

The album came with a post: “Over the past few days, airliners around the world have taken to the sky with heavy hearts. An air disaster doesn’t affect just one airline; it takes a part of all our spirits down with it. We are united by wings and airline staff around the world want our family at Malaysia Airlines to know we are standing behind them.”

WestJet flight attendant Robin Feldberg said: “From this, rest in peace MH17 crew and passengers. My heart hurts today. And yes, we may all wear different uniforms but, we are one big family in the sky. I feel like members of my family have been taken too soon.”

Qatar Airways crew member Jose Refaei offered his condolences and said the tragedy could happen to anyone.

“I’m sure losing crew or family member isn’t too easy to deal with. I’m truly feeling extremely sad for that accident.”

United States’ Southwest Airlines crew member Darsie Barker Chase posted: “Many of us started this job when we were young and it’s what we know.

“Many of us thought it would be a fun way to see the world and quickly found out that we didn’t just get a job, we got a family.

“When something happens to one of us, no matter the carrier, it hurts, but to find out that someone did it on purpose, that pain and fear is indescribable. It’s like someone did it to your sibling. God bless you Malaysia.”

Patricia Mari Tapalla Buloron of Cebu Pacific Air said flight attendants’ hearts all over the world were in deep pain for what happened to MH370 and MH17.

“Our prayers and sympathy indeed won’t be divided by what uniforms we wear. Safe flights, everyone.”

Many crew also shared their jitters of flying after the incident.

Cabin crew member Evelyn Greter said she landed in Amsterdam with a heavy heart.

“It breaks my heart to think I may have made eye contact in passing or smiled at their relatives in the departure hall as they said their goodbyes.”

Dutch flight attendant Dounia Haddoudi said flying would now be very hard.

“A lot of Dutch people knew a few of the passengers of flight MH17. So, it won’t be just hard for us flight attendants but also for passengers flying today. May you all have a save flight!”

Another Dutch crew member, Nicolien Bom, said it was difficult to sleep after hearing about MH17.

“This morning, I learned that almost 200 people of my country, the Netherlands, had died in the crash.

“It made me very sad and I nearly cried on my way to work.”

Cabin crew member, Jessica Elyse, said a colleague had rung her family after the tragedy in tears just to tell them that she loved them, “in case something happens, because nothing about flying feels safe anymore”.

Cabin crew member Petra Petrush said he flew the night after MH17 was downed and it was difficult for him.

“I was not scared but I felt deeply saddened by this tragedy for our colleagues, passengers and their families. So unnecessary, and I hope that those responsible for this grief will be brought to justice.”

- NST

 

Nation Prays For Victims, Families

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIANS congregated at places of worship to pray for those killed in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in Ukraine.

At Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields here, about 200 worshippers gathered to dedicate their morning service to the victims and their next of kin.

Temple president Sirisena Perera said they had prayed for the victims’ souls and, more importantly, for the families to cope in these difficult times.

“It is very difficult to accept this. Only four months ago, the disappearance of MH370 grappled our nation.

“Even before we found a closure to it, another tragedy has hit us,” he said.

Malaysia Hindu Sangam president R.S. Mohan Shan said temples nationwide will be conducting
special pooja (prayers) for the
victims and their families on Friday.

“We will also be praying for the country, which has been facing a lot of trials and tribulations since the beginning of the year.”

He said he was saddened by the incident that took 298 lives, and hoped that the perpetrator would be brought to justice.

Council of Churches of Malaysia general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri said churches nationwide conducted special prayers for the victims on Friday, as soon as they heard of the horrific incident.

“We would be having another session tonight (yesterday night) in our church in Petaling Jaya.”

He urged Malaysians to come together to pray for the victims and their families.

“I pray that the nation will unite and stay together during this traumatic time.”

The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia sent 10 imam to Ukraine to help with the religious rites for the victims.

Major mosques under Jakim and the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department will also hold solat hajat during the last 10 nights of Ramadan for the nation’s peace and safety.

- NST

 

Postings Draw Netizens’ Ire

GEORGE TOWN:AS the world mourns the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and families of those killed try to come to terms with their losses, insensitive postings on social networking websites by some thoughtless individuals have enraged netizens.

Latest to join those who have come under fire are Perak DAP chairman and Taiping member of parliament Nga Kor Ming, and Yuki Tan, who is the wife of DAP’s Tanjung MP, Ng Wei Aik.

Nga’s posting on MH17 drew flak from relatives of victims, while Tan incurred the wrath of netizens after posting remarks about Malaysia in Facebook.

The next of kin of a MH17 passenger hit out at Nga after the DAP lawmaker questioned why Malaysia Airlines flew over Ukrainian airspace when other airlines had shifted their flight path.

The relative, who goes by the handle Parwaiz Win in Facebook, questioned Nga’s motive in blaming MAS.

“You want the truth YB (Yang Berhormat)? The truth is my family lost a woman who was a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and cousin to many of us. Why blame MAS? The entire world is not blaming MAS and you call yourself a Malaysian MP.

“The truth is our loved one is gone and here you are playing politics.

“This is not the time and place for you to dwell into MAS for your political gimmick.

“This is now the time for us, the families, and you, the leaders, to fight for us so that we get the remains and whatever belongings are left as a form of comfort,” the relative wrote in response to Nga’s posting in Twitter and Facebook.

In his posting “Can Malaysia Airlines explain this?” with a clipping, dated July 18, the MP questioned why MAS was still flying over the Ukranian airspace when Australian and Korean airlines had shifted their flight routes months earlier.

When contacted, Nga said his thoughts and prayers were with the passengers and crew of MH17, and that at a time of crisis, he fully supported the government to demand justice for the victims.

“On my tweet... there is nothing more and nothing less, except for MAS to explain when the United States Federal Aviation Department had issued a directive in April prohibiting all US airlines to use that airspace.

“I do not wish to blame anyone. However, it is also a time for reflection for all airlines. The key point is passengers’ safety is important.”

Meanwhile, Tan has since apologised over her posting in Mandarin, “Malaysia is so scary... what kind of a useless country is this?”

The posting was put up following the downing of MH17 last Thursday, and has since gone viral, leaving many netizens fuming.

Tan, who lists her profession as a real estate and property negotiator, has since made a subsequent posting to make amends.

Last Friday, she wrote: “I would like to apologise over my personal statement describing Malaysia following the unfortunate incident of MH17.

“It is not my intention to hurt the feeling of Malaysians... Sorry! Let’s pray for MH17!”.

However, Tan’s attempt at apology did little in damage control as it had incensed the people more.

Among the criticisms posted on Facebook are: “If you want to criticise the country, please renounce your citizenship first... don’t slap yourself.”

The same person then went on to mock Tan by stating: “Oh... sorry for my harsh words...”

Another Facebook user, Sze Tho Weng Ho, posted: “For goodness’ sake, please use your brain before you speak.

“The whole country is mourning. Three hundred innocent lives were lost. This is not the time for cheap shots.”

- NST

 

Malaysia Goverment Determined To Bring Back Bodies Before Raya

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government is determined in bringing back the remains of Malaysian crews and passengers of ill fated MH17, before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Najib said he is determined to have the bodies to be identified and be brought back to Malaysia for proper burial.

He said he had sleepless nights due to the incident and was making phone calls to world leaders and other concerned authorities and want full cooperation in ensuring the remains can be brought back to the country.

"We want the remains to be taken out and brought back as soon as possible.

"I don't want their bodies or remains to be taken to unknown location and I am determined to bring their remains back to Malaysia," he said in his speech at the closing of the Nur Ramadan programme held at Al-Najihin mosque tonight.

- NST

 

MAF Deployed 30 Personnel To Ukraine

ALOR STAR: Malaysia Armed Forces chief Tan Sri Zulkefli Mohd Zin said the armed forces had deployed 10 men with the Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue (SMART) team to Ukraine including medical personnel and religious counsellors.

"We have 30 men on hand from our end to help out with the MH 17 rescue and salvage operation.

"We also have two 130 Hercules aircraft to transport the deceased or for any possible cargo needs," he said.

When asked about the plane's black box and it's return, Zulkefli said that was under the purview of the Ministry of Transport.

The Smart team comprising 149 men, left for Kiev in the Ukraine on July 18.

Zulkefli was speaking at a buka puasa and handing over of aid and Raya gifts to armed forces personnel at the armed forces college here today.

- NST

 

Four Shell Malaysia Employees Onboard Flight

KUALA LUMPUR: Shell Malaysia has confirmed that four of the company’s employees were on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which crashed in Ukraine.

“We are sad to announce that four Shell employees are believed to have died in this tragic incident,” Shell said in a statement issued on its website today.

The four employees are:

- Tambi Jiee of Malaysia, who was travelling with his wife and four children;

- Paul Rajasingam Sivagnanam of Malaysia, who was travelling with his wife and son;

- Petra van Langeveld of the Netherlands who was travelling with her son; and

- Klaas Willem van Luik of the Netherlands who was based in Brunei.

The statement said Shell is providing support to the families of our employees to help them through this time of grief.

“Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of all the passengers and crew on board flight MH17,” it added.

Flight MH17, a Boeing 777-200, was en route from Am sterdam to Kuala Lumpur, when it crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border.

MH17, carrying 298 passengers and crew departed Am sterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam time) on Thursday and was due to arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10am (Malaysian time) on Friday.

- NST

 

Raya Shoppers Pen Their Thoughts

KUALA LUMPUR: As the world grieves for the ill fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, shopping malls around the city and their customers are playing their parts in paying respects to the victims and their loved ones.

Sungei Wang has set up a message board since Saturday at the same location where the MH370 message board was placed, in front of the mall’s main stage.

Shoppers can leave messages of condolences to the families and friends of the passengers and crew members of MH17 on the board.

“We have cancelled our Hari Raya stage shows and changed our in-house music from upbeat Hari Raya songs to soft instrumental music.

“We will observe a minute of silence for MH17 before a Zapin competition today which could not be cancelled,” said Joanne Lee of the Marketing Communications Department of Sungei Wang.

Banker Monaliza Abbas, 41, said she was sad for what happened to the passengers and MAS crew.

“It is a sad year indeed for MAS and Malaysia. Just four months after the disappearance of MH370, we are now mourning the loss of MH17 with 298 innocent people onboard,” she said.

Accountant Margaret James, 34, who is a frequent user of MAS said she would still fly with MAS despite the tragedy.

“MAS has provided excellent service for years. The two tragedies may affect MAS’ reputation but it will not stop me from using their services.

“I hope those who are affected by the tragedy will remain calm and strong,” she said.

Human resource officer Maliki Ismail, 40, hoped the government will find justice for MH17.

“I hope both Ukraine and Russia governments will cooperate with Malaysia and stop pointing fingers at each other for the deadly attack on MH17. I also hope the bodies of the victims will be recovered soon and returned to the family members so that they can be laid to rest,” he said.

At Mid Valley Megamall, the weekend crowd took a few minutes from their Hari Raya shopping to write some words of comfort.

As a netizen, Kushairi Roslei, 26, could not help but follow the development of many speculations.

“There are so much talks about conspiracies and incompetency on MAS’ part which are insensitive towards those who are directly affected.

“I hope families of the victims can be strong throughout this ordeal,” he said.

Balvin Kaur, 32, was devastated at what happened to MAS this year.

“MAS is a fantastic airline and they don’t deserve this.

“I fly with MAS all the time and will continue to do so as they need out support as a nation. I hope justice will prevail,” she said.

1) Shoppers of all ages leaving supporting words on the MH17 message board at Mid Valley Megamall.

2) A prayer for MH17 victims from a shopper at Mid Valley Megamall.

3) A shopper writing her message on a bookmark for the MH17 message board.

- NST

 

 

Gerakan’s Kota Damansara Youth Chief And Wife Among Victims

KUALA LUMPUR: Party Gerakan’s Kota Damansara deputy Youth chief Liew Yau Chee and his wife Lee Kiah Yeen were among 298 who perished when MAS flight MH17 was shot down in Eastern Ukraine on Friday.

Gerakan secretary-general Liang Teck Meng said the couple were on a business trip to Germany last week and took the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur before the tragedy.

“I came to know about the tragedy (MH17) through Liew’s Facebook two days ago and could not believe it. I waited for confirmation from friends before deciding to inform his family members,” he told Bernama today.

Liang said the couple leave behind a son aged 10 and an eight-year-old daughter.

He added that he visited Liew’s family in Mutiara Damansara yesterday with a number of journalists but the family members were not ready to face the journalists.

Liang said Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong had directed the Party’s central committee to assist Liew’s family in providing moral support and legal advice.

“Liew was an active sportsman who liked to play badminton and a very responsible party worker since joining in 2004. We played badminton every week. Now I am going to miss him,” he said.

The MAS flight, MH17, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in Ukraine. It was carrying 298 people - 283 passengers and 15 crew.

MH17 had left Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Netherlands time) Thursday and was to have arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10am (Malaysian time) Friday. Besides Malaysians, nationals from the Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand were among the 298 passengers and crew on board.

- BERNAMA 

 

Wife Of MH370 Steward Keen To Extend Help To Grieving Families

 

SHAH ALAM: As Intan Maizura Othman looked into the future of raising her newborn, Muhammad, the wife of missing Malaysia Airlines steward Muhammad Hazrin of MH370 expressed her sorrow over the loss of 298 lives on MH17.

 

"I know what they must be feeling right now and as a Muslim I plea for them to maintain patience and acceptance over what had happened.

 

"It might sound cliche but at this point of time, that is all that we as family members of the victim can do.

 

"The crews in MH17 are my friends too, I know them for many years and when the news on MH17 broke out my heart just popped and I was instantly reminded of myself when I heard about MH370," she said.

 

Intan, who is a stewardess with Malaysia Airlines herself had in many occasions flew with the crew of MH17.

 

"What really saddens me is not just that I know of them personally but they are also kind and passionate at what they do.

 

"I can still remember when I had lunch with them at work, when we rest and talk together, it has never occurred to me that they would be gone in such way," she said.

 

Intan said she is willing to provide moral and emotional support to the families of the crew members and will attend tahlil occasions to meet with the families.

 

Since the flight MH370 went off the grid and dissappeared on March 8, Intan still seeks closure of what happened to her husband the rest of the 239 passengers and crew.

 

"At first I thought that as the day passes by, things would become easier but it gets harder because I keep thinking of what happened to my husband and the rest of them.

 

"I have not heard from the authorities on MH370 since our last meeting in April and that was the last time that they meet the families.

 

"As a representative of the MH370 victims's families, I plea for the authorities to keep us updated as the mystery shrouding the disappearance of our loved ones. At least for MH17, there is closure and we know what happened to the plane and their victims but not for MH370.

 

"How long do we have to wait for the truth to finally come out? Will we ever know the truth in our lifetime?," she said.

 

Intan, who has been on leave since the start of MH370 said that for Malaysia Airlines crews, the two tragedies have caused many to experience traumas over flying and are unable to perform in their work.

 

"I am still traumatized to fly because the incident involved my husband and friends who are close to me and the others.

 

"Since the tragedy of MH370, the crews have been engaging with each other on social media and provide support for each other as we are all in a way emotionally and mentally affected by what happened.

 

"Its even more painful when there is no closure to the tragedy. I am still waiting for the closure of MH370 and hope for those responsible for what happened to MH17 be brought to justice.

 

"Even if the truth is painful to hear and goes beyond what I expected, I want to know and so does the rest of the families affected," she said.

 

- NST

 

“We Are Still With MAS” Declare Passengers

SEPANG : Malaysian Airlines passengers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport have not been deterred by the double tragedies of Flights MH370 and MH17, with many praising the national carrier's service and performance.

Rezaul Karim, an IT development director from Bangladesh, said he had flown regularly with MAS over the past 12 years and has yet to find cause for complaint.

"I was shocked when I heard about MH17, but that hasn't had any impact on which airline I choose to fly with because it had nothing to do with MAS."

"MAS provides really good service and is always on time, so I'm happy to continue flying (with them)," he said when met at KLIA.

Rezaul, who was flying to Indonesia, said he sympathised with the families of the MH17 victims as his late brother, a pilot, had also been killed in a plane crash in 1993.

"I know exactly how they feel but that hasn't stopped me from flying," he said.

Bob and Kath McNess, both retirees from Perth, Australia, believed bad luck could strike at any time and had nothing to do with the airline they chose.

"We could get hit by a bus today, so it doesn't really matter which plane we're in. You have to continue living," said Kath, who had been on holiday with her husband in Malaysia for 12 days.

Indonesian housewife Imelda Marzuan, 44, said the MH17 crash could have happened to any airline.

"I don't see this as a problem. Insyaallah (god willing), nothing else (like this) will happen."

Joel Bangkil, 41, and his daughter Jayhon Iza Belle had arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Manila on a MAS flight on Friday, the morning after the news of MH17 broke.

"I was shocked to hear the news when it happened (on Thursday night) as I was supposed to fly to KL the next morning.

"I was nervous of course and I am nervous now, but I understand that it was shot down. Accidents do not happen often - it's just a tragedy that it happened to the airline after what happened to MH370."

Kazunobu Ishikawa, 62, from Okinawa, Japan, praised MAS' services and staff.

"I usually travel with my wife and we enjoy the service from booking tickets to the point we exit the aircraft. (The staff are) very professional and friendly," he said.

MAS flight MH17, carrying 298 passengers and crew, was downed in eastern Ukraine after taking off from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, enroute to KL late Thursday night. It was the second major tragedy for MAS after the disappearance of the Flight MH370 aircraft four months ago.

- NST

 

Flight Number Retired, MH19 To Be Used

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has decided to retire its MH17 flight code on the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur sector out of respect for the passengers and crews of the ill-fated airliner, which had gone down in the eastern Ukraine last Thursday.

The national air carrier, in a statement today, said the flight code for the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur route would be replaced with MH19.

MAS added the changes would take into effect beginning this Friday.

“There are no changes to the frequency of our services and we will continue to operate daily services between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur.

“Our thoughts and prayers remains with the families of our colleagues and passengers of MH17,” the statement said

- NST

 

Ukraine Donetsk Emergencies Ministry: 196 Bodies Found At Crash Site

KIEV: The local department of Ukraine’s Emergencies Ministry in the eastern Donetsk region said today 196 bodies had been found at the site where the Malaysian airliner crashed.

“As of 7 a.m, in the Shakhtarsky region of the crash site of the Boeing 777, 196 bodies were found,” it said in a statement, adding that divers were involved in the search because the area included a reservoir. 

- REUTERS

 Pic: NSTPic: NST

Najib: We Will Get Bodies Home

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday promised the families and next of kin of Malaysian passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that the government would do its best to bring home their remains.

Najib, accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, visited grieving families at Putrajaya Marriott Hotel and spent more than two hours with them.

With them were Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.

Later, the prime minister tweeted, saying that the government would spare no efforts to help the families.

“We will do our utmost to provide closure for the grieving families. Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (Foreign Affairs Minister) will head to Kiev to ensure our team works undisturbed,” he said.

Najib also tweeted that he personally shared the grief of the families of passengers and crew on board MH17 as his step-grandmother, Puan Sri Siti Amirah Kusma, was one of the passengers.

Shahrizat said among the topics discussed between Najib and the family members were plans to bring back the remains, recovery of the black box and the families' welfare.

“Some of the families even requested to go to the crash site, but were told that it was not safe for them to do so. He was very concerned about their wellbeing and gave them the assurance that the government will uncover the truth on what truly happened,” she said.

Shahrizat said the government would not rest until the responsible party was brought to justice.

Hishammuddin said the families and next-of-kin were calm albeit sad and all they wanted the government to do was to bring back the bodies of their loved ones home.

He said the Malaysian government placed importance of three factors, which were to gain access to the crash site, ensure that a safe corridor was open to the investigation and recovery teams, and to ensure that the debris was not tampered with as those were the evidence that could help determine what happened to Flight MH17.

“We want to get to the bottom of it. It is important to have a thorough and a complete transparent investigation on what actually happened and to do that we need the cooperation of all the international bodies.

“I have spoken to United States defence secretary Chuck Hagel, United Kingdom foreign secretary Philip Hammond and Chinese leaders on this,” he said.

Hishammuddin said Najib had also been in touch with Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian leadership.

On the timeline to bring back the remains of the Malaysians onboard, he said it depended heavily on the negotiations to access the crash site and that Liow would be leaving for Kiev, Ukraine, to facilitate a negotiation with the Ukrainian authorities.

Asked if the family members were angry at the tragedy that had caused them to lose their loved ones, Hishammuddin said his own step grandmother, Puan Sri Siti Amirah Kasuma, was onboard the ill-fated flight, and on a personal level, he was angry.

“I think we (families) are angry. But what can I do? Being angry will not resolve this matter.

“Like I said earlier, there are three factors that we need to ensure, which is the safety of the teams, the access to the crash site and that the evidence will not be tampered with.”

Hamzah, meanwhile, said the government's main priority was to bring home the bodies of the Malaysian victims who were onboard the Boeing 777 aircraft.

“We are asking the Ukrainian government to negotiate with the rebels to allow us to bring the bodies back home. That is the most important thing we need to do.”

Hamzah said the government would be working closely with all relevant parties to determine the cause of the tragedy and reiterated that all information that the government has must be corroborated and verified beforehand.

“The information that we have currently must be verified, I cannot say that it will be easy, but our team is already in Kiev.

“The distance between Kiev and the crash site is more than 500km and it will not be easy in getting there,” he said, adding that there were no plans to send the families to Ukraine.

An elderly family member, who declined to be named, said she accepted what had happened as fate.

“The prime minister has promised us that he will try to bring back the remains of our loved ones. That is enough for me,”

- NST
http://www.nst.com.my/node/15292

 

MH17: Emergency Parliament Sitting To Condemn Attack On Plane

Pic: NSTPic: NST

MH17: Latest Passengers Nationalities List

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has announced the latest number of passengers and their nationalities of those on board MH17.

As of today, the total number of passengers remained at 298, while the fatalities count at 11.40am is as follows:

- Netherlands : 192 (including 1 dual Netherlands / US citizen)

- Malaysia : 44 (including 15 crew and 2 infants)

- Australia : 27

- Indonesia : 12 (including 1 infant)

- United Kingdom : 10 (including 1 dual UK / South Africa citizen)

- Germany : 4

- Belgium : 4

- Philippines : 3

- Canada : 1

- New Zealand : 1

MAS said it is working closely with the respective embassies to notify the next-of-kin of the passengers.

“Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support to provide all possible care to the next-of-kin.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members,” it said in a statement.

MAS added that the airline will provide regular updates on the situation.

Families of passengers and crew may contact +603 7884 1234 (Malaysia) or +31703487770 (Netherlands).

 

- New Straits Times

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said an emergency Parliament sitting will be called to condemn the inhumane act responsible for the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which had gone down in the eastern Ukraine on Thursday night.

“We strongly condemn any violence act, which is uncivilized and irresponsible.

“To announce the stand of the people of Malaysia, as the Prime Minister, I have decided to call for an emergency Parliament sitting to table a motion condemning any inhumane act,” Najib said in a special address on flight MH17, which was telecast live via RTM tonight.

He also said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah on the government’s decision that all flags around the country to be flown half mast beginning tonight until this Monday.

Najib also called upon all Muslims in the country, regardless of their political affiliation, to perform a special prayer and doa with hope that nation to be always safe from disasters and threats.

“For the non-Muslim, please pray according to your religious beliefs,” he said.

---New Straits Times

MH17: Tragedy Underlines Urgency For Resolving Ukraine Crisis

NEW YORK : Demonstrating grief and shock over the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane in Eastern Ukraine, all members of the United Nations Security Council held a moment of silence on Friday to pay homage to the memory of the victims of the MH17 flight before conducting official UN business.

A top UN official told the UNSC that the plane crash also underlined the urgency for resolving the Ukraine crisis by immediately enforcing resumption of a ceasefire and intensifying efforts to end the crisis.

The plane was carrying 298 people, mostly Dutch nationals, on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed after being hit by a surface-to-air missile in Eastern Ukraine close to the Russian border.

In a cautiously-worded statement, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, said that although there was at this point no independent verification of the circumstances regarding the tragic crash, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was “alarmed” at what seemed to be “credible, numerous reports” suggesting that a sophisticated surface-to-air missile was used to bring down the passenger plane.

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns this apparently deliberate downing of a civilian aircraft,” said Feltman, adding that “this horrifying incident serves as the starkest reminder of how dire the situation in eastern Ukraine has become – and how it affects countries and families well beyond Ukraine’s borders”.

Both Ban and the UNSC have called for an international investigation into the incident. The UNSC, in a press statement, also stressed on Friday the need for all parties to grant immediate access by investigators to the crash site.

Feltman said the UN has been in touch with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which has offered to Ukrainian officials its investigative capacity in order to put together an international team.

Among the casualties of the crash was a staff member of the World Health Organization (WHO), Glenn Thomas, who was on his way to an international AIDS conference in Australia.

Acknowledging that the Ukrainian situation was complicated, Feltmann expressed the hope that the shock of the downing of the MAS passenger jet would lead to a “serious and sustained” effort to end the fighting.

Feltmann reported that following the June 30 announcement by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko of the end of the 10-day ceasefire and subsequent resumption of the security and law enforcement operation in the eastern parts of Ukraine, the fighting between Government forces and armed groups has intensified dangerously, resulting in numerous deaths.

 

– BERNAMA

 

pic: Getty Imagespic: Getty Images

 

Special Malaysia Probe Team Leaves For Kiev

KUALA LUMPUR: The first Malaysia Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart) has left for Kiev, Ukraine at 8pm today to assist in the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 tragedy.

The team comprised 24 personnel, experts from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), and doctors from the Disaster Victim Identification Unit, said Smart operations commander deputy superintendent of police Peter Johnny in a report byThe New Straits Times.

The team will be part of the search-and-recovery mission at the crash site in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, where MH17 was believed to have been shot down by surface-to-air missiles.

The Smart team is a part of a special investigation team comprising 149 men who left for Kiev tonight on a chartered flight.

Personnel from various other government departments are part of the convoy, including the military, Civil Defence Department, police forensic team, Chemistry Department, National Security Council, and official media.

The team will remain there until the investigation is complete, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim after flagging off the convoy at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Earlier today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak vowed that Malaysia would find out precisely what had caused Flight MH17 to crash in Ukraine yesterday.

Flight MH17, carrying 298 passengers and crew bound for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border last night.

- Astro Awani

 

MH17: List Of Crew On Board

Pic: NSTPic: NST

 

 

- NST/Instagram: mh17_crash_news

 

 

MH17: India Conveys Its Condolences To Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has conveyed her deep sense of loss and grief to the Government of Malaysia and to the families of those aboard the Malaysian airlines flight MH17 that crashed in eastern Ukraine late Thursday.

In a letter addressed to her Malaysian counterpart Datuk Sri Anifah Aman, she also stated that her thoughts and prayers were with the family members of all passengers and crew on board the flight.

She also mentioned that India stands by the people and Government of Malaysia and other countries whose nationals were on board and their concerns would receive her closest attention.

– BERNAMA

 

MH17: We Are Victims Of Geopolitical Turmoil

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has become a victim of a geopolitical turmoil taking place at the Russian-Ukrainian border, says Prime Minister

Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Speaking at a Press conference tonight after breaking fast at Angkasapuri, Najib said he just spoke to Russian president Vladimir Putin over the phone to allow an independent investigation body from Ukraine to be granted a safe passage and access to the crash site in Donestk, eastern Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound jet from Amsterdam went off radar on Thursday night and was found crashed.

Najib also insisted that Malaysia must be part of the investigation team.

"So far there is a commitment from Russia and Ukraine to resolve the matter. I hope they will create a temporary ceasefire in order for the investigation to take place without hindrance," said Najib.

During the conversation with Putin, Najib said he also implied that the black box should be in Malaysia's possession.

"I have told him that the investigation team (which Malaysia must be a part of) must retrieve all the evidence necessary, including the black box to ascertain the facts (that had led to the crash)."

- NST

 

MH17: Piam Offers Necessary Assistance To Families Of Victims

KUALA LUMPUR: The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (Piam) and its member companies are on standby to offer the necessary assistance to the families of Malaysian victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 which crashed in Ukraine yesterday.

In a statement today, Piam said it would continue to closely monitor developments as they unfolded, although investigations had just commenced.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives as a result of the MH17 tragedy which has left the nation in shock.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of all those on board the aircraft,” it said.

Piam is the national trade association of all licensed direct and reinsurance companies for general insurance in Malaysia.

– BERNAMA

 

Grim Aidilfitri For Wan Amran’s Family

KUALA KANGSAR: “Aidilfitri will never be the same again without my uncle. It will be grim,” noted a teary-eyed Nur Suraya Dusuki.

She was talking fondly about her uncle, Wan Amran Wan Hussin, the pilot of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 which crashed after it was believed to have been shot down in Ukraine yesterday.

There were 283 passengers and 15 crew on board the aircraft which was heading to Kuala Lumpur after departing Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Netherlands time) yesterday.

Nur Suraya, 29, said her 50-year-old uncle had planned to briefly return to their ‘kampung’ (village) on the first day of Hari Raya as he was scheduled to work during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

“He was a good person who appeared serious but liked to joke and make people laugh. He loved to give alms. He was the backbone of the family and helped the family a lot,” she told reporters at their family home in Kampung Jias, Kota Lama Kiri here today.

Wan Amran’s loss will be felt by the entire family, especially Wan Aini, 61, who was the pilot’s sister and was closest to him.

Recounting her feelings when she heard about the crash, Nur Suraya said she was sad and shocked.

“I found out my uncle was in the list of victims as stated on the internet at midnight.

“We were all shocked and couldn’t say anything but cried out loud, we didn’t expect him to leave so tragically,” she added.

Nur Suraya said upon learning about the incident, their family members gathered before Wan Aini and other siblings left for Kuala Lumpur at 2am.

Wan Amran had told Nur Suraya that he was close to his colleague, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah who had piloted the MAS Flight MH370 aircraft on March 8, thsi year, before it vanished with passengers and crew in the southern Indian Ocean.

“My uncle told me that Captain Zaharie was a nice man and I never imagined he would share the same fate (as Zaharie),” she said.

Wan Amran was the seventh of 11 children born to Wan Hussin Wan Omar and Zainab Megat Fadhil.

Wan Amran is survived by widow, Mariam Yusuf, in her 40s, and their two sons.

– BERNAMA

 

MH17: Information Department Sets Up Disaster Media Management Centre

KUALA LUMPUR: The Information Department has set up a Disaster Media Management Centre to make it easier for media personnel to send the latest reports on the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH17 tragedy.

The centre is providing facilities to media personnel operating from the Boeing 3 Room at the Sama-Sama Hotel, KL International Airport (KLIA) until the operations on the tragedy end, according to statement issued by the deparment today.

Besides providing an area for work and press conference, WiFi, telephone and facsimile facilities for the media to use, the centre also has a special portal for the latest information on MH17 which can be accessed at http://media.inform.gov.my/e-press.

The MH17 flight, which carried 283 passengers and 15 crew members, was on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it crashed in Ukraine.

It departed Amsterdam at 12.15pn (Amsterdam time) on Thursday and was expected to arrive at KLIA at 6.10am on Friday.

– BERNAMA

 

MH17: Take Care Of My Dog Please, Stewardess Tells Family

KLANG: MH17 stewardess Angeline Premila Rajandran's last request to her family was to ask them to look after her pet dog.

Her brother, Murphy Govind, 29, said the 30-year old pet lover made the request via WhatsApp to her family members just minutes before boarding the flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Murphy said Angeline was very close to their mother and she was distraught upon learning what had happened.

"My mother has locked herself in her room and has refused to come out ever since we heard about the news.

"She is obviously devastated as Angeline and the rest of us had just celebrated her birthday just two weeks ago," he said when met at their home in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, here, today.

Govind, who runs a family business with his father, said he was unhappy with the way MAS handled the tragedy.

"We received a call at about 4am from MAS saying that MH17 had not landed.

"It did not make any sense because the flight was supposed to land at 6am," he said, adding that he only found out about what had really happened to the flight from a friend who works for the airline.

Angeline's father, who was also at home declined to be interviewed saying that he was not ready to speak to reporters.

- NST

 

MH17: PM Najib Cancels All His Morning Programmes

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he had cancelled all his morning programmes in the wake of the incident that had occurred on Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17, which had gone down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday night.

Najib posted on his Facebook account that he was focusing on efforts with other world leaders in dealing with the crisis.

“I had also spoked to the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot to offer my condolence.

“We fully appreciate their support,” he said.

- NST

 

MH17: PDRM To Send Forensics Team To Crash Site

SHAH ALAM: Police are sending a team of 21 forensic scientists and officers to examine the site of downed Malaysian Airlines MH17 in conflict-ridden eastern Ukraine to kick-start investigation on the tragedy.

Inspector-general of police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the team will depart from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 6pm today and are expected to collect evidences and engage with their Ukrainian counterpart.

"Any official statement on the MH17 incident will come from the Ministry of Transport and its minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai but police will assist in however way we can in investigation," he said.

When asked whether police would open an investigation paper to futher probe into the incident, Khalid said the police have yet to consider it.

Liow, in a press conference at Sama-Sama hotel earlier announced that two high-ranking Malaysian representatives would assist with investigations of the incident and cooperate with the authorities in Ukraine.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak meanwhile said Malaysia will despatch a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue team to Kiev.

The group consists of 62 people-30 SMART team members, 15 medical staff, 10 Royal Malaysia Air Force representatives, five Malaysia Airlines staff, two Department of Civil Aviation staff.

Khalid also gave a stern warning against those who share unverified rumours and false information on social media to incite fear and panic in the society.

Commenting on the rumour on social media yesterday night alleging an incursion into the east coast of Sabah by militants, Khalid said the police are already start an investigation to find the individual responsible for starting it.

"We are in the midst of identifying the perpetrator and we are not going to let anyone who dare to create panic among the public to get away.

"In fact once we are done with investigation, we will charge the perpetrator under the Penal Code as well as under the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)," he said.

Khalid further denied any claims made in the viral message and said that people are in peaceful condition while businesses run as usual.

"Despite the threat by aggressors in the coastal lines, the people feel safe knowing that there is a strong presence of enforcement agencies, including police in the area to safeguard their lives.

"Police always engage with other enforcement agencies in the surrounding area to keep our waters safe and is now cooperating with local fishermen and organisations to aid our investigations and enforcement activities.

"We had also increase the number of officers in the east coast of Sabah to 481 officers from 330 and an additional 70 officers from the special forces to ensure that we can protect the area and prevent any further harm from happening

with a strong presence of the police," he said.

The heightened enforcement in Sabah was a reaction to the recent attack on the Marine police in Mabul island that leave one officer dead while another is currently being held at ransom of 10 million.

Khalid was speaking at the 'Go To Safety Point' with Shell Malaysia, an intiative to increase public policing in petrol stations across the country and provide safety points for public in incidences of danger and risks.

There are currently more than 900 petrol stations under Shell that participate in the initiative.

- NST

 

MH17: PM Najib Receives Phone Call From UN Sec-Gen

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received a telephone call from United Nation secretary-general Ban Ki Moon today.

During the brief telephone conversation, Najib had updated Ki Moon on the latest development of the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The telephone conversation took place when the prime minister was attending a breaking of fast event with representatives from the mainstream and social media, which was held at Angkasapuri here.

After breaking fast, Najib and guests at the event performed the Maghrib prayer at a mosque here.

Najib is also expected to perform the Isyak and Terawih prayers here.

Present were Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and his deputy Datuk Jailani Johari.

In attendance were Media Prima Bhd chairman Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar, Media Prima group managing director Datuk Amrin Awaluddin and The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd group managing editor Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid.

- NST

 

Under International Law, MH17’s Black Boxes Must Stay In Ukraine, Officials Say 

KUALA LUMPUR: International law prohibits the removal of MH17’s flight recorders from Ukraine, where the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) commercial jet was reported to have been shot down, a report said.

According to The Kyiv Post, Ukraine’s English language newspaper, the eastern European country’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that it would be illegal for any party to remove the crucial black boxes from Ukrainian territory.

“Their transfer from the country would be unlawful,” the report said.

Earlier this evening, a Ukrainian ministerial official claimed that intelligence sources believe that one of Flight MH17’s data recorders will be handed over by separatists in the strife-torn Donetsk region across the border to Russia’s federal security service (FSB).

“According to the latest information from our intelligence, the ‘black boxes’ obtained by the terrorists at the scene will be handed over to their supervisors from FSB today on one of the border crossing check-points of Luhansk,” Anton Gerashchenko, who is an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry, wrote in a Facebook post.

“This would be the one of the many brazen acts of violation of international treaties in the sphere of aircraft accidents investigation by Putin,” Gerashchenko added, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine and Russia have been trading blame over which nation is responsible for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight by what US officials say is a Russian-designed air defence missile.

Conflicting reports are also surfacing over which side is currently in possession of the black boxes from the plane, with each opposing faction said to be in possession of one of the plane’s two data recorders.

Ukraine earlier released what it said was intercepted communications between Russian intelligence and pro-Moscow Ukrainian separatists discussing the shooting of a civilian aircraft in the moments after MH17 disappeared from radar late last night.

The video and its accompanying transcript have yet to be independently verified.

Earlier today, Putin said Ukraine “bears responsibility” for MH17 due to the plane going down in its territory.

“This tragedy would not have happened if there was peace in the country, if military operations had not resumed in the south-east of Ukraine,” he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

World leaders earlier demanded the United Nations lead an independent investigation into the shooting of MH17, with the Security Council due to meet today.

MH17 was believed to have been shot down over eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian militants yesterday, killing all 298 people aboard, a Ukrainian interior ministry official said.

MAS said air traffic controllers lost contact with MH17 as it flew over eastern Ukraine towards the Russian border, bound for Asia with 283 passengers and 15 crew aboard.

This is the second air disaster involving a Malaysia Airlines plane in the space of five months, after the Beijing-bound MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board on March 8.

- The Malay Mail

 

OSCE Says Negotiating Safe Passage To MH17 Crash Site 

GENEVA: The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said today it was negotiating safe passage to the MH17 crash site with rebels controlling eastern Ukraine.

The security body is in talks with the rebels to create “a humanitarian corridor allowing access to this region to do the necessary work as well as the investigations,” OSCE chief Didier Burkhalter said on Swiss television, adding that it was also seeking access to the plane’s black box flight recorder “currently in the hands of the separatists”. 

— AFP

 

Widow Of MH370 Crew Speak Out On Twitter

SHAH ALAM: Intan Maizura Othman, wife of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 steward, showed perseverance and call on others to do the same through her social media account in the wake of another devastating tragedy affecting the national aircraft carrier.

The mother of two had recently given birth to a healthy baby boy named Muhammad tweeted her anguish right after news of the incident broke out near midnight on Thursday.

She tweeted, “Lost my husband on #MH370 and now lost my friends on #prayforMH17” and was re-tweeted by netizens more than 9,000 times since it was published.

The post had also allowed for concerned netizens to reply with emotional consolidations and show of support for the wife of MH370 steward, Muhammad Hazrin.

Intan, who is also a stewardess with MAS then expressed grief and fear of flying again where she hinted that she might choose to retire after the nation suffers from its second aviation catastrophe in one year.

She said, “How do you expect me to fly??? I think I will hang my uniform very soon. #PrayForMH370 #PrayForMH17”

Just an hour after that, Intan tweeted in response to a statement released by aircraft manufacturer Boeing on MH17 incident where she said, “MH370 Boeing keep silence. MH17 Boeing said condolence #PrayForMH370 #PrayForMH17”.

She then followed up with another tweet showing solidarity for the families and friends of MH17 280 passengers and 15 crews.

“Family MH370 praying for family MH17 #PrayForMH370 #PrayForMH17”.

During the early stages of crisis management for the MH370 tragedy, late responses and clashes of facts in official information were thrown into the public sphere creating a situation of dissent and confusion for not just the mass but also family members and friends of the passengers and crews of the ill-fated flight.

However, online observers have noted the positive differences for the Malaysian government and its international counterpart and the public in responding to the tragedy.

NYCAviation editor and contributor to AirlineReporter Benjamin Granucci noted in his tweets that the early response by Malaysians on the tragedy has been different and showed tremendous growth and strength.

He tweeted, “Amazing to see the evolution of how Malaysia responds to something like this. The early hours of MH370 were very different”.

Twitter feeds were also filled with netizens and public figures extending their hands and thoughts in prayers. Intan had called on her followers on Twitter to join her in prayer as she posted a picture of her in a prayer garment.

The heart-wrenching series of tweets invited a flood of prayers and positive messages from her followers who also wish for closure to both MH370 and MH17 tragedies.

This morning, Intan had posted a collage picture believed to be of MH17 crews in a chilling moment that reminded netizens of a similar picture but with different faces of those in MH370.

She tweeted, “My tears still pouring for hubby #MH370 & now my dear friends #MH17 #GodBless #PrayForMH370 #PrayForMH17”

It was reported before that the investigation on MH370 tragedy is still on going as the government pledge to continue searching for the plane until it is found.

- NST

 

MH17: Son's Memory To Live On In Voice Recording

KLANG: Shaikh Mohd Noor Mahmood, 44, left his mother Amnah Mohd Sharif, 65, with a wonderful final memory during her birthday celebration on Wednesday.

The memory, of him singing a self-composed birthday song, will continue to live on, if only in a voice recording captured by his sibling.

Amnah, who turned 65 on Tuesday, played the recording of her son singing jovially several times for reporters at her home today while she held back tears.

She said her son, one of the flight attendants who perished in the MH17 tragedy, had visited her a day after her birthday to celebrate.

"He was strumming his brother's guitar for fun even though he did not know how to play.

"He also sang a P.Ramlee Hari Raya song, Dendang Perantau, he had always loved to sing," she told reporters at her home in Taman Chi Liung, here, today.

Having accepted her son's fate, Amnah's only hope now was that the authorities would be able to salvage some part of his body so that the family can conduct a proper burial.

Shaikh Mohd Noor was the eldest among five siblings; he had two younger brothers and two younger sisters.

His younger brother, Shaikh Radzi Mahmood, 40, said his elder brother always joked around with his siblings and triggered happiness all the time.

"Last time when he could not make it for Hari Raya because of work, it was okay because at least we knew he was alive.

"This year, we have a sense of loss because we know he is not here with us anymore," he said, as his voice cracked.

Shaikh Mohd Noor joined MAS in 1996 and left behind his wife Madiani Mahdi, 43, who is also a flight attendant, and four children aged 13, 11, 6 and 2-years-old.

- NST

 

MH17: Ukrainian Rebel Forces Find Black Box, Reports Interfax

KUALA LUMPUR:Ukrainian rebel forces have allegedly found the black box from the crashed MH17 Malaysia Airlines.

According to ABC News quoting Interfax, the rebels known as the Donetsk People's Republic had agreed to hand the black box over to the Russian-run regional air safety authority.

The rebels, announced their cooperation with authorities in a statement.

Its leader Andrei Purgin told Interfax that they are most likely to hand it over to the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC).

The Malaysia Airline passenger plane flight MH17 operated by Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam  to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

In a media statement, the national carrier reported that the plane departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

Its last known position was over the volatile Ukrainian airspace.

Malaysia Airlines confirmed via its Twitter that it had lost contact with the aircraft 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border .

The flight was carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board.

- Astro Awani

 

MH17: If It's True The Plane Was Attacked, It Should Be Condemned - Nik Aziz

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat expressed his condolences to the families of victims on board Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17.

"From my hospital ward, I read the tragic news about the MAS aircraft which was reportedly shot down by Ukraine resulting in the deaths of (at least) 23 Malaysians and over 200 passengers.

"I express my condolences to the families of the victims on board, may God have mercy on their souls especially for Muslims during this holy month of Ramadan," he said in a statement today.

He also called on a detailed investigation into the incident, particularly on the use of airspace in that area.

"If it is true that the aircraft was attacked in Ukraine as reported, then it must be condemned and action must be taken," Nik Abdul Aziz said.

"The international community must exert pressure on the parties involved in the conflict so that innocent civilians do not become victims," he added.

Nik Abdul Aziz is currently being warded at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) in Kota Bharu, Kelantan to undergo treatment.

- Astro Awani

 

Rebels Surrendering MH17 Black Box To Russian Security Service Today

KUALA LUMPUR:  More conflicting reports have emerged on MH17’s black boxes, with a Ukraine ministerial official now claiming that intelligence sources believe that one of the flight’s crucial data recorders will be handed over to Russia’s federal security service (FSB) later today.

In a Facebook post, Anton Gerashchenko, who is an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry, said Ukraine intelligence has picked up information that the black box found by “terrorists” at the crash site in rebel-held Donetsk would be handed over the border of eastern Ukraine to FSB supervisors.

“According to the latest information from our intelligence, the ‘black boxes’ obtained by the terrorists at the scene will be handed over to their supervisors from FSB today on one of the border crossing check-points of Luhansk,” he wrote.

“This would be one of the many brazen acts of violation of international treaties in the sphere of aircraft accidents investigation by Putin,” Gerashchenko added, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Ukrainian official also claimed that pro-rebel commander Igor Girkin, who uses the nom de guerre Strelkov, had arrived at Snezhoye last night to “take care” of the situation over the shooting down of the Malaysian plane.

He claimed that the Buk missile system, which is the weapon believed to have been used to take down the Boeing 777 jetliner carrying 298 people, would most likely be destroyed.

Ukraine and Russia have been trading blame over which nation is responsible for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight by what US officials say is a Russian-designed air defence missile.

Conflicting reports are also surfacing over which side is currently in possession of the black boxes from the plane, with each opposing faction said to be in possession of one of the plane’s two data recorders.

Ukraine earlier released what it said was intercepted communications between Russian intelligence and pro-Moscow Ukrainian separatists discussing the shooting down of a civilian aircraft in the moments after MH17 disappeared from radar late last night.

The video and its accompanying transcript have yet to be independently verified.

Earlier today, Putin said Ukraine “bears responsibility” for MH17 due to the plane going down in its territory.

“This tragedy would not have happened if there was peace in the country, if military operations had not resumed in the south-east of Ukraine,” he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

World leaders earlier demanded the United Nations lead an independent investigation into the shooting down of MH17, with the Security Council due to meet today.

MH17 was believed to have been shot down over eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian militants yesterday, killing all 298 people aboard, a Ukrainian interior ministry official said.

MAS said air traffic controllers lost contact with MH17 as it flew over eastern Ukraine towards the Russian border, bound for Asia with 283 passengers and 15 crew aboard.

This is the second air disaster involving a Malaysia Airlines plane in the space of five months, after the Beijing-bound MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board on March 8.

- The Malay Mail

 

Don’t Make Malaysia Scapegoat For MH17, Minister Tells Foreign Press 

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian minister accused the international media today of an aggressive attempt to blame Malaysia Airlines (MAS) for the MH17 crash, reminding them that the facts of the incident prove the national carrier should not be faulted for the tragedy.

The youth and sports minister from ruling party Umno, Khairy Jamaluddin, took to Twitter this afternoon to say that MAS had committed no wrong when flight MH17 used the flight path that took the aircraft over the crisis-ridden eastern Ukraine region.

In messages posted after Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai concluded a news conference on updates to the fatal incident, Khairy accused the international media of trying to put the burden of responsibility on its choice of flight path.

“It’s not the route selection that resulted in these deaths. It’s some terrorist deciding to shoot our plane that caused these deaths. #MH17,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site.

Khairy stressed that blaming MAS over its route selection is unacceptable as many other commercial planes cover the same route, which had been approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

He even posted a graphic in reply to a tweet that criticised MAS’ decision to fly over eastern Ukraine airspace, which showed at least three other carriers — KLM, Lufthansa and Thai Airways — using similar flight paths to get to destinations in Southeast Asia.

“If we don’t fight this narrative with facts, this will define the international news cycle. Malaysia an easy scapegoat. Not on. #MH17,” Khairy said.

Earlier at the news conference, Liow denied talk that flight MH17 had taken a shorter route over eastern Ukraine to save money and fuel.

Liow also repeatedly stressed that the route taken by the commercial jetliner, which was shot down yesterday in the region controlled by pro-Russia separatists, was a safe flight path approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

“Since it’s an approved route, it’s safe,” Liow told a press conference here today.

“I want to stress that the route was an approved path flown for decades by Malaysia Airlines and other aircraft,” he added.

The minister also noted that 15 out of 16 airlines in the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines fly the same route over Ukraine.

All the 298 people aboard flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur are believed dead following the Boeing 777-200’s crash near a Ukrainian village yesterday, following reports that it was struck out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile.

Both Russia and Ukraine have denied shooting down the commercial jet.

According to international news wire Reuters, Ukraine has since closed the airspace over its eastern regions where it is battling pro-Russia rebels.

Out of the 283 passengers and 15 crew aboard the doomed plane, there were 44 Malaysians, while the Dutch comprised the majority at 173 people.

- The Malay Mail

 

Grim Trawl For Bodies At Mh17 Crash Site

GRABOVE: A guidebook on Bali and a children’s card game lie amid the debris of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as emergency workers pick through the grisly carnage of the vast crash site, recovering corpse after corpse.

Painstakingly, fire fighters make their way through the wreckage, stopping here and there to plant sticks tied with white rags to identify the location of some of the 298 victims.

“Anatoly, come over here. There are a lot more in this field,” a fireman shouts to his colleague as a light rain falls.

A day after the passenger jet was apparently shot down by a missile in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, dozens of fire trucks from surrounding towns were at the scene.

But with the debris scattered for kilometres, under-equipped emergency crews were clearly overwhelmed by the scale of the tragedy.

Hours after the disaster, an AFP crew at the site saw dozens of severely mutilated corpses still lying at the crash site after eyewitnesses reported seeing the plane disintegrate in mid-air.

An arm could be seen poking from under a seat lying in a ditch. Nearby, luggage was piled up on a slope.

Two engines, a piece of a landing gear and chunks of the fuselage dotted with windows were strewn about as melted metal solidified in pools.

The sound of dogs barking could be heard in the distance. Separatist fighters at the site said they will shoot any animals that come to scavenge there.

Kiev has blamed the rebels and their alleged Russian backers for downing the plane. But the separatist deny the claim and have vowed to protect the scene and allow investigators access to the crash site.

The smell of death

The rebels have also suggested that they are willing to agree to a temporary truce to facilitate the recovery but the sound of faraway explosions can still be heard sporadically.

Along a country road, a mini-bus has been converted into a crisis unit with 18 miners from a nearby pit serving as volunteers.

“Of course, it’s scary but we can’t leave them like that,” says Ivan, 54, a miner of 28 years, referring to the victims.

In the background the noise of a volley of Grad multiple rocket launcher is heard.

“Hear that, there they are again bombing the peaceful population” he says.

There are no crowds of curious onlookers at the scene and the inhabitants of a nearby hamlet remain indoors trying to make sense of the carnage that they’ve witnessed.

“You understand, it was as if a three-storey building came down but missed us,” Pavel, 45, a farmer told AFP as he looked at some of the fuselage lying a hundred metres from his house.

“I’m in shock and will never forget it. We really almost died. It smells like death.” Another crew of emergency workers walks past carrying a fresh bundle of sticks to use as markers.

One of them lets slip it is unlikely that all of the victims can be recovered.

“We realise that we’ll never find all of them in an area of 25 square kilometres,” he says.

 — AFP 

MH17: PM Offers Prayers For Victims, Family Members

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he had prayed for the passengers and crew on board the Malaysia Airlines aircraft, which had gone down in the eastern Ukraine, during Friday prayers today.

In his Twitter account, the prime minister said he had also extended his prayers for the next-of-kin.

“During Friday prayers, I had prayed for the passengers and crew of MH17 as well as their family members.

“This is a very difficult period for all of us,” he said.

There were 283 passengers and 15 crews on-board the ill-fated Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

- NST

 

MH17: Selangor Govt Offer Condolences So

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor state government today expressed condolences to family members of MH17 crew and passengers who perished after the jetliner was shot down in Ukraine on Thursday night.

"The state government and citizens of Selangor convey our condolences to all family members of those onboard MH17 from Malaysia, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Indonesia and several other countries who lost their loved ones in the MH17 aircraft accident which crashed at the Ukraine-Russia border.

"This is a heartbreaking tragedy for all Malaysians and the world community especially when we are still mourning the loss of MH370," said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim in a statement yesterday.

Abdul Khalid urged Malaysians to remain calm, courageous and strong in facing the tragedy.

"For Muslims, this incident happened in the holy month of Ramadan, teaches us to be patient and accept what has happened with an open heart.

"We pray that this tragedy does not dampen the spirit of Malaysian Airline System (MAS) crew to continue providing excellent service to preserve MAS' good name internationally.

"We also hope the Malaysian government will send a strong message to the international community so that the parties responsible for this tragedy will be punished for this inhumane action," he said.

- NST

 

MH17: Wife Waiting To Hear From Husband

KUCHING : An oil and gas scaffolder from Bintulu is believed to be among the passengers on board MH17.

The wife of 48-year old Meling Mula, Sigut Kedit, 39 said her husband was expected to be home today after working in Venezuela for the past two months.

"My brother told me about the incident and I am bracing myself for the worst," said Sigut when contacted.

Sigut also said she has yet to receive any official news from Malaysia Airlines but her brother has been in contact with them.

Meling who is working as a scaffolder with Saiten Sdn Bhd in Venezuela told his wife about his trip home on Wednesday and promised her that he will spend family time with them.

"I have been waiting for his return since the day he called but this is just surreal," she added.

Meling and his wife has three children, namely Maryline Sindu, 18, Benedict Bana, 15 and Gabriel 8.

- NST

 

MH17: Condolences From Media Prima

KUALA LUMPUR: Media Prima Berhad Group has expressed sadness over the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 tragedy which saw the deaths of 298 passengers and crew on board.

“The board of directors, management and employees of Media Prima Berhad wish to convey our profound condolences to the families of the crew and passengers of MH17.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them and as Malaysians we stand united in grief.

“Although our sympathies cannot begin to heal their bereavement, we pray that they are granted the patience and fortitude to endure this extremely difficult period.”

Meanwhile, Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (ABIM) also extended their deepest condolences to all the families of those involved in the MH17 plane crash.

ABIM secretary-general Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz said prayers are for Malaysia.

“This incident came as a shock to all Malaysians as we have yet to get past the MH370 aircraft disappearance.

“We hope the authorities will be able to give the attention this incident deserves and the welfare of the next-of-kin are well taken care of.

“We also seek the government’s cooperation to convey all the latest information regarding the crash as soon as possible through the social media or other means of communication.”

On Thursday, MAS Boeing 777 jetliner crashed in Ukraine near the Russion border, believed to have been shot down, killing 43 Malaysian nationals along with it.

- NST

 

MH17: US Ambassador Offer Condolences

KUALA LUMPUR: US ambassador Joseph Y. Yun offered his condolences to the next of kin of those on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

He said United States was a strong partner of Malaysia and they stand ready to assist in investigation of the crash.

"I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn the news. I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for the families who lost loved ones.

"On behalf of the staff of the embassy, I offer our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of those on board," he said in a statement.

- NST

 

MH17: Indonesian Embassy To Assist In Identification Of Victims

SEPANG: The Indonesian embassy will be working closely with the Malaysian government to identify the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine yesterday.

The embassy’s counsellor (consular affairs) Dino Nurwahyudin said so far, 12 Indonesian passengers, including one infant, have been identified. The passengers were believed to have been from Jakarta, Bali and Medan.

“We will give our full cooperation and expertise, including sending our police Victim Identification Team to take DNA samples of the deceased,” he told pressmen at Kuala Lumpur International Airport here today.

He said the embassy had received the passengers’ name list and confirmed their identities based on their passport numbers.

“The authorities in Jakarta is in the midst of contacting the next of kin,” he said, adding that the embassy is working with Malaysia Airlines to process their departure to Malaysia.

At press time, 20 out of 295 passengers including cabin crews of the MH17 have yet to be identified.

The Boeing 777 was believed to have been shot down by the surface-to-air missiles near the Russian border.

- NST

 

MH17: Allianz SE Main Reinsurer

NEW YORK: Allianz SE is the lead hull and liability reinsurer on a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) passenger jet that was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

The aircraft’s value is about US$97.3 million (RM310.3 million), London-based insurance broker Aon Plc, which tracks the market for aviation coverage.

In a report Aon said Atrium Underwriting Group Ltd. was the leader for war coverage, which could pay claims if the damage is tied to terrorism.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Munich- based AllianzJacqueline M. Maher said as leading reinsurer of Malaysia Airlines for aviation hull and liability coverage, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty stands by to support their client as fully and quickly as possible.

“It is much too early to comment on reports of this tragic incident while details are still being confirmed, except to extend our deepest sympathy to all those affected by this crash.”

The Boeing Co 777 crashed near the town of Torez, about 30km from the Russian border, killing all 295 people on board. The plane was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

The government in Kiev blamed the attack on pro- Russian rebels, an accusation the separatists denied.

The attack threatens to raise tensions in Ukraine’s civil war.

Carriers including Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Air France-KLM and OAO Aeroflot are shifting planes away from the region, which sits astride some of the busiest air routes between Europe and Asia.

Atrium, which provides coverage through the Lloyd’s of London market, didn’t return an email and phone message left outside normal business hours. Enstar Group Ltd. purchased a majority stake in Atrium last year.

Willis Group Holdings Plc brokered the coverage, said Colleen McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the company who declined to name the insurers on the policy 

- Agencies

 

MH17: Aircraft Had Clean Bill Of Health

KUALA LUMPUR: The B777-200 aircraft that operated MH17 had a clean maintenance record and had undergone its last maintenance check on July 11.

Malaysia Airlines, in a statement said, the next check was due on Aug 27.

"The maintenance was conducted at Malaysia Airlines’ hangar at KLIA.

"The aircraft had a clean bill of health," it said.

The aircraft manufactured in July 1997, had 17 years service and recorded 75322 hours with a total of 11434 cycles.

"All communication system on the aircraft were functioning normally," it added.

The B777-200, bearing registration no. 9M-MRD, used the Rolls-Royce Trent-800 engine and has a 282 seat capacity.

- NST

 

MH17: 20 Counsellors To Assist Next-Of-Kin, Says Rohani

KUCHING: Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is sending 20 counsellors to attend the MH17 next of kin.

Its Minister Datuk Rohani Karim said these counsellor will help the next of kin in going through the trauma following the tragedy.

"Unlike MH370, we are better prepared this time and at least we know what happen to flight MH17. Our counsellors are well trained and we believe the families of the crew and passengers need the professional guidance going through this though time," said Rohani after visiting the family of Tambi Jiee in Kampung Goebilt here.

Tambi, 48, his wife Azira Gazalee, 46 and their four children were among the passengers on board the flight.

Their children are Muhamad Afif, 19, Muhamad Afzal, 17, Marsha Azneena, 15 and Marsha Afruz,13.

Rohani also said the ministry is sending three counsellors to help the family in dealing with the trauma.

- NST

 

MH17: Siti Loses Five Family Members

SEPANG: A Malaysian-Dutch family of five were among the passengers aboard ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Shaliza Zaini Dewal and her Dutch husband were traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with their three children when the plane crashed over the Eastern Ukraine last night.

Shaliza's mother, Datin Siti Diana Abdullah, told reporters here that she received the newsafter watching CNN shortly after midnight.

Siti Diana then called her son-in-law's brother in Amsterdam who told her that he had sent the family to the airport earlier.

"I am still shocked. I don't know anything yet and I am still waiting for news," she said, outside the family waiting area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Siti Diana, who seemed dazed while facing the press, said her daughter and her family lived in Melbourne, Australia. The eldest of Shaliza's children was 15-years old.

It is understood that the family was planning to spend the Hari Raya holidays in Kuala Lumpur before heading back to Australia.

- NST

 

 

MH17: Penang Flies Flags At Half-Mast Over Tragedy

GEORGE TOWN: Penang is to fly flags at half-mast for three days from today as a mark of respect for the victims of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 which crashed in Ukraine yesterday.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government regarded the MH17 incident a massacre and called for an international probe to bring justice to the families of the victims.

Lim said he had been informed that three of the passengers were from Penang, and added that the state government was prepared to extend assistance to the families.

He also said that the flags were also flown at half-mast as a mark of respect for the passengers and crew of MAS Flight MH370 which disappeared while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8.

MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in Ukraine. It was carrying 298 people - 283 passengers and 15 crew.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said early today that Ukrainian authorities believe that the Boeing 777 was shot down.

MH17 had left Amsterdam at 12.15 pm (Netherlands time) Thursday and was to have arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10 am (Malaysian time) Friday.

– BERNAMA

 

MH17: Singapore Offers Assistance

SINGAPORE: Singapore is shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 which crashed in Ukraine on Thursday, and is ready to provide any possible assistance to Malaysia.

In a statement, the foreign affairs ministry said: “The Government and people of Singapore send our deepest condolences to the families of the victims in this time of profound grief.

“We also stand in solidarity with the Government and people of Malaysia during this difficult period.”

The ministry said a full and transparent investigation was imperative to establish the cause of the crash.

“The investigation team should be given full access to the affected areas and evidence. We stand ready to offer any possible assistance,” it added.

At this point, there have been no report of Singaporean victims.

According to the statement, the ministry remains in close contact with MAS and the relevant airport authorities to ascertain the nationality of unverified passengers.

Singaporeans who require consular assistance should contact the ministry’s duty office (24-hours) at tel: 6379 8800, 6379 8855 (24 hours), Fax: 6476-7302 and email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Earlier, foreign media reported that a Malaysian passenger Boeing 777 airliner with 295 people onboard crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border. Flight MH17 departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

– BERNAMA

 

MH17: UMS Lecturer Among Victims

KOTA KINABALU: A dedicated and diligent lecturer was how lecturer Ng Shi Ing is remembered by her colleagues at Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

Ng, 33, was with her one-year-old son and her sister on board flight MH17 that crashed in Ukraine.

Ng, from Muar, Johor, was married to Lt Commander Lee Vee Weng who is based at the Royal Malaysian Navy Base in Sepanggar here.

Vice Chancellor Prof Datuk Mohd Harun Abdullah said Ng was a jovial and friendly individual who lectures psychology and education.

"She was assigned to attend a conference and present a working paper in Antwerp, Belgium," he said.

It was the XVIth International CALL Research Conference hosted by the Antwerp University.

- NST

 

MH17: “Pray For My Husband” Plea From Captain’s Wife

SHAH ALAM: The wife of MH17 pilot Wan Amran Wan Hussin, 50, today pleaded online for people to pray for her husband.

Mariyam Yusoff posted a picture of the flight manifest on her Facebook around 2am, with the caption "pray for my husband" attached.

A few hours before that, she also posted a status asking Allah to save her husband, the Malaysia Airlines crew and the passengers onboard MH17 when news first broke that the plane had allegedly been shot down in eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, when contacted by phone, Mariyam's niece, who only wanted to be known as Shuhada, answered the call.

She urged members of the press not to disturb Mariyam at the moment.

"At this time, please do not disturb.

"Give her space to calm down, when she is ready, she will speak," Shuhada said.

MH17 had been on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and was supposed to land around 6.10am local time today.

It is learnt that a tahlil ceremony will be conducted for Wan Amran at the Alam Impian surau tonight after the terawih prayers.

- NST

 

MH17: Some Asian Carriers Quit Ukraine Airspace Months Ago

SEOUL: The Malaysian airliner apparently shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine was flying over airspace that a number of other Asian carriers had already abandoned months ago because of security concerns.

 

South Korea’s two main airlines, Korean Air and Asiana, as well as Australia’s Qantas and Taiwan’s China Airlines said they had all re-routed flights from as early as the beginning of March when Russian troops moved into Crimea.

 

“We stopped flying over Ukraine because of safety concerns,” Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyo-Min said.

 

Korean Air moved its flight paths 250 kilometres (160 miles) south of Ukraine from March 3 “due to the political unrest in the region“, an official for the carrier told AFP.

 

A Qantas spokeswoman said its London to Dubai service used to fly over Ukraine, but the route was changed “several months ago“, while Taiwan’s China Airlines diverted its flights from April 3.

 

Quizzed as to why Malaysia Airlines had not taken similar precautions, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said international air authorities had deemed the flight path secure.

 

“The aircraft’s flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization. And (the) International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions,” he said.

 

Re-routing would have involved a longer flight-time and therefore higher fuel costs.

 

Singapore Airlines said in a statement that it had been using Ukrainian airspace but had “re-routed all our flights” to alternative corridors away from the region.

 

It was not immediately clear when the route change was put into affect.

 

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific said it had not been using Ukrainian airspace “for quite some time” and Pakistan International Airlines said it had re-routed “some time ago.”

 

According to the European flight safety body Eurocontrol, the Ukrainian authorities declared the east of the country a no-fly zone shortly after the Malaysian airliner went down with 298 people on board.

 

European and US airlines re-routed their flights as Kiev said flight MH17 was shot down in a “terrorist” attack and a US official said intelligence analysts “strongly believe” it was downed by a surface-to-air missile.

 

Eurocontrol said the doomed plane was flying at a level known as “330“, or approximately 10,000 metres or 33,000 feet, when it disappeared from radar screens.

 

The route itself had been closed to level “320” but was cleared for those flying at the Malaysian plane’s altitude.

 

Gerry Soejatman, a consultant with the Jakarta-based Whitesky Aviation chartered flight provider, said airlines that flew over conflict zones were not necessarily negligent.

 

“Every airline does its own risk assessment,” Soejatman said, adding that flying above 30,000 feet was generally considered secure given the level of training and sophisticated weaponry required to shoot down a plane at that height.

 

“Ten years ago you’d be an idiot to fly over Iraq below 15,000 feet, but over 30,000 feet was very safe, so it’s about the level of risk.

 

“I think this will send a message to airlines to have a closer look at conflict zones when they choose to fly over them and gain a better understanding of what equipment is on the ground,” he said.

 

Air India and Thai Airways said they had both started re-routing flights away from Ukraine as a direct result of the Malaysian crash.

 

“Some of our flights used to pass through Ukrainian airspace ... but as of today all of our flights are totally avoiding Ukrainian airspace,” a Thai Airways spokeswoman said.

 

Air China and China Eastern Airways had a total of 28 flights a week passing over eastern Ukraine, but China’s Civil Aviation Administration said today it had ordered all carriers to circumvent the region.

 

Vietnam Airlines said it had suspended four long-haul flights to Europe in the immediate aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines incident.

 

The flights resumed today, but on re-drawn routes that “completely avoid” eastern Ukraine, the airline said.

 


- AFP

 

MH17: Aircraft Had Clean Bill Of Health

KUALA LUMPUR: The B777-200 aircraft that operated MH17 had a clean maintenance record and had undergone its last maintenance check on July 11.

Malaysia Airlines, in a statement said, the next check was due on Aug 27.

"The maintenance was conducted at Malaysia Airlines’ hangar at KLIA.

"The aircraft had a clean bill of health," it said.

The aircraft manufactured in July 1997, had 17 years service and recorded 75322 hours with a total of 11434 cycles.

"All communication system on the aircraft were functioning normally," it added.

The B777-200, bearing registration no. 9M-MRD, used the Rolls-Royce Trent-800 engine and has a 282 seat capacity.

 

- NST
http://www.nst.com.my/node/14593

 

MH17: Ukrainian Rebel Forces Find Black Box, Reports Interfax

KUALA LUMPUR - Ukrainian rebel forces have allegedly found the black box from the crashed MH17 Malaysian Airlines.

 According to ABC News quoting Interfax, the rebels known as the Donetsk People's Republic had agreed to hand the black box over to the Russian-run regional air safety authority.

 The rebels, announced their cooperation with authorities in a statement.

 Its leader Andrei Purgin told Interfax that they are most likely to hand it over to the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC).

 The Malaysia Airline passenger plane flight MH17 operated by Boeing 777 en route from Amstardam  to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

 In a media statement, the national carrier reported that the plane departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

 It’s last known position was over the volatile Ukrainian airspace.

 Malaysia Airlines confirmed via its Twitter that it had lost contact with the aircraft 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border .

 The flight was carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members on-board.

 

 

- Astro Awani

 

 

MH17: Family Members Arrive At Anjung Tinjau

SEPANG: A few families arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and made their way to the Family Friend Reception Centre (FFRC) and Family Friend Holding Area (FFHA).

Three individuals, two women who met another man in front of Anjung Tinjau at 9.40am, hugged and cried. They consoled each other before making their way to the entrance of FFRC and FFHA to register.

When approached by members of media, they did not speak.

A few minutes later, another six individuals arrived and proceeded to the registration desk.

- New Straits Times

 

MH17: What We Know So Far

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Airline (MAS) flight MH17 en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam crashed in the Eastern Ukraine close to the Russian border. The aircraft disappeared off radar while it passed through the crisis-stricken area.

 Preliminary reports stated that the Boeing 777-200ER was believed to have been shot down by a group of pro-Russia militants. No survivors have been reported, to date.

 

What do we know about MH17?

 The aircraft carried 283 passengers including three infants of various nationalities and 15 crew of Malaysian nationality.  Below is the list of passengers and crew on board:

 

The Boeing 777-200ER, was the same model as the ill-fated MH370 aircraft that went missing from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.  To date, the aircraft wreckage has yet to be discovered.

 The MH17 flight took off from Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam at 2.15pm local time (6.15pm Malaysian time) and was estimated to arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 6.10am today.

 Among those who were on the flight were 23 Malaysians, 154 Dutch nationals followed by 27 Australians, reported Reuters citing information from an airport official in Amsterdam.

 The MH17 aircraft was registered under 9M-MRD is the 84th Boeing 777 aircraft made by the company. Coincidentally, MH17 came down 17 years after its maiden voyage on July 17, 1997.

 This is the second major crash for Malaysia Airlines in the last four months.

 

How did it happen?

 The MH17 flight could not be located around four hours after it took off and was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters (approximately 30,000-metres). It disappeared off the radar once it entered Russian airspace.

 Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the aircraft did not place  any distress call, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

 The Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian militants from the Donetsk People’s Republic have both denied their involvement in the shooting down of a civilian plane and instead have resorted to pointing fingers at each other.

 Ukraine claims that the aircraft was shot down by a medium-range missile from a vehicle-mounted Russian-built Buk missile system. It was previously reported that the Russian army supplied state of the art weapons to the militants.

 Meanwhile, the separatist leader, Alexander Borodai has accused Ukrainian air force for the plane’s crash. Ukraine has denied these allegations.

 Najib stressed that if it is indeed true that the plane was shot down, Malaysia wants those who are responsible to be brought to justice.

 

What happened after MH17 crashed?

 Almost all international airlines have announced that they will avoid flying over Ukraine’s airspace. They include: Lufthanda, Air France, Turkish Airlines, Transaero, British Airways, Air India, Jet Airways, Aeroflot and KLM.

 The separatists have announced that they will carry out a ceasefire for three days to allow post-crash operations, reported Reuters citing the Russian Intelligence Agency (RIA).

They were also reported to have found the plane’s black box and have handed it over to Russia.

 

- Astro Awani

 

 

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine, U.S. Officials Say

A passenger plane carrying 298 people aboard that crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday was shot down, U.S. officials told multiple news outlets. No signs of survivors have been reported.

Body parts were scattered for miles around the crash site, near towns held by Russian-backed separatists. An emergency services rescue worker said that at least 100 bodies had been found at the scene.

Ukrainian officials blamed separatists for the attack on the plane, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister, wrote on Facebook that the plane was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher over the country's east. U.S. officials told NBC News that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, and that they "were trying to determine who fired the missile." Russian separatists have shot down several Ukrainian military planes in recent months.

The Daily Beast reports that the plane's black box had been sent to Moscow for investigation, citing a Russian radio station.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine bore responsibility for the crash, saying in televised comments, "This tragedy would not have happened, if there had been peace on that land, or in any case if military operations in southeastern Ukraine had not been renewed."

Airlines scrambled to divert their flights away from Ukrainian airspace following the crash.

President Obama spoke briefly about the incident, calling it a "terrible tragedy." Vice President Biden also commented, saying the crash was "not an accident."

Ukraine's east has seen heavy fighting since the country's army launched an operation to recapture eastern cities from rebel fighters.

More from the AP:

HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine on Thursday, Ukrainian officials said, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the aircraft.

As plumes of black smoke rose up near a rebel-held village of Hrabove, an Associated Press journalist counted at least 22 bodies at the wreckage site 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Russian border.

The village is under the control of pro-Russia separatists and the area has seen severe fighting between the two sides in recent days. Rebel fighters at the scene of the wreckage had piled up victims' possessions into heaps and threatened reporters attempting to film footage.

The insurrection started after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was driven from office in February by a protest movement among people wanting closer ties with the European Union instead of Russia.

A Russian news report said pro-Russia rebels intend to call a three-day cease-fire to allow for an investigation into the crash and recovery efforts.

The Boeing 777-200ER, traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, appeared to have broken up before impact and the burning wreckage — which included body parts and the belongings of passengers — was scattered over a wide area.

The cockpit and one of the turbines lay at a distance of one 1 kilometer (more than a half-mile) from one another. Residents said the tail had landed around 10 kilometers (six miles) further away. Pieces of charred bodies and bones were spread around the field. Rescue workers planted sticks with white flags in spots where they found body parts.

 Some journalists attempting to reach the crash site were detained briefly by rebel militiamen, who were nervous and aggressive.

 There was no indication there were any survivors. Malaysia's prime minister said the plane didn't make any distress call before it went down, and that the flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

 Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters that Malaysia was unable to verify "the cause of this tragedy but we must, and we will, find out precisely what happened to this flight."

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the downing an act of terrorism and called for an international investigation into the crash. He insisted that his forces did not shoot down the plane.

At least 154 people on the flight were Dutch citizens, said Huib Gorter, Malaysian Airlines senior vice president in Europe. There were also 27 Australians on board, 23 Malaysians, including all 15 crew, and 11 Indonesians.

 Other nationalities so far identified were six passengers from the United Kingdom, four from Germany, four Belgians, three from the Philippines and one Canadian. There are still 47 dead whose nationalities haven't yet been confirmed, he added.

Ukraine's security services produced what they said were two intercepted telephone conversations that they said showed rebels were responsible. In the first call, the security services said, rebel commander Igor Bezler tells a Russian military intelligence officer that rebel forces shot down a plane.

 In the second, two rebel fighters — one of them at the scene of the crash — say the rocket attack was carried out by a unit of insurgents about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of the crash site.

Neither recording could be independently verified.

Earlier in the week, the rebels had claimed responsibility for shooting down two Ukrainian military planes.

President Barack Obama called the crash a "terrible tragedy" and talked about it on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Later, Putin said Ukraine bears responsibility for the crash. But he didn't address the question of who might have shot down the plane and didn't accuse Ukraine of doing so.

"This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine," Putin said, according to a Kremlin statement issued early Friday. And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy."

Britain has asked for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Ukraine.

The RIA-Novosti agency on Thursday quoted rebel leader Alexander Borodai as saying discussions were underway with Ukrainian authorities on calling a short truce for humanitarian reasons. He said international organizations would be allowed into the conflict-plagued region.

Aviation authorities in several countries, including the FAA in the United States, had issued warnings not to fly over parts of Ukraine prior to Thursday's crash, but many airliners had continued to use the route because "it is a shorter route, which means less fuel and therefore less money," said aviation expert Norman Shanks.

Within hours of Thursday's crash, several airlines, including Lufthansa, Delta and KLM, released statements saying they were avoiding parts of Ukrainian airspace.

Malaysia Airlines said Ukrainian aviation authorities told the company they had lost contact with Flight MH17 at 1415 GMT (10 a.m. EDT) about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Tamak waypoint, which is 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Russia-Ukraine border.

It said the plane was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members. It had left Amsterdam at 12:15 p.m. and was due to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6:10 a.m. Friday.

Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet) when it was hit by a missile from a Buk launcher, which can fire up to an altitude of 22,000 meters (72,000 feet). He said only that his information was based on "intelligence."

Igor Sutyagin, a research fellow in Russian studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said both Ukrainian and Russian forces have SA-17 missile systems — also known as Buk ground-to-air launcher systems.

Rebels had bragged recently about having acquired Buk systems.

He said Russia had supplied separatist rebels with military hardware, but he had seen no evidence "of the transfer of that type of system from Russia." The weapons that the rebels are known to have do not have the capacity to reach beyond 4,500 meters. (14,750 feet)

A launcher similar to the Buk missile system was seen by Associated Press journalists earlier Thursday near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne, which is held by the rebels.

The Malaysia Airlines plane was delivered to the company on July 30, 1997, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets. It has more than 43,000 hours of flight time and 6,950 takeoffs and landings.

Poroshenko said his country's armed forces didn't shoot at any airborne targets.

"We do not exclude that this plane was shot down, and we stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets," he said. "We are sure that those who are guilty in this tragedy will be held responsible."

The Kremlin said Putin "informed the U.S. president of the report from air traffic controllers that the Malaysian plane had crashed on Ukrainian territory" without giving further details about their call. The White House confirmed the call.

Separatist leader Andrei Purgin told The Associated Press that he was certain that Ukrainian troops had shot the plane down, but gave no explanation or proof for his statement.

Purgin said he did not know whether rebel forces owned Buk missile launchers, but said even if they did, they had no fighters capable of operating it.

Around the time the plane crashed, Russian media quoted witnesses as saying they saw a plane being hit by what they thought was a rocket.

It was the second time that a Malaysia Airlines plane was lost in less than six months. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It has not been found, but the search has been concentrated in the Indian Ocean far west of Australia.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who had been attending a European Union summit in Brussels, headed back to the Netherlands to deal with the crash.

In Kuala Lumpur, several relatives of those onboard the Malaysian airliner came to the international airport.

A distraught Akmar Mohamad Noor, 67, said her older sister was coming to visit the family in Kuala Lumpur for the first time in five years.

"She called me just before she boarded the plane and said 'see you soon,'" Akmar said.

There have been several disputes over planes being shot down over eastern Ukraine in recent days.

On Wednesday evening, a Ukrainian fighter jet was shot down by an air-to-air missile from a Russian plane, Ukrainian authorities said Thursday, adding to what Kiev says is mounting evidence that Moscow is directly supporting the separatist insurgents. Ukraine Security Council spokesman Andrei Lysenko said the pilot of the Sukhoi-25 jet hit by the air-to-air missile was forced to bail after his jet was shot down.

 Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York on Thursday that Russia did not shoot down the Ukrainian fighter jet on Wednesday. "We didn't do it," Churkin said.

Pro-Russia rebels, meanwhile, claimed responsibility for strikes Wednesday on two Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 jets.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the second jet was hit by a portable surface-to-air missile, but added the pilot was unscathed and managed to land his plane safely.

Moscow denies Western charges that is supporting the separatists or sowing unrest in its neighbor.

Earlier this week, Ukraine said a military transport plane was shot down Monday over eastern Ukraine by a missile fired from Russian territory.

Flights that were airborne when the Malaysia Airlines jet crashed have been re-routed, transportation officials said.


- The Huffington Post

 

MH17: UN Security Council To Hold Emergency Meeting

UNITED NATIONS, United States : The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the crash of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine, officials said.

The urgent talks will begin at 10:00 am (1400 GMT), said the Rwandan chair of the 15-member council.


- AFP

 

 MAS Faces Another Tragedy Four Months After MH370 Disappeared

KUALA LUMPUR: Another tragedy has shocked the nation when Malaysia Airlines (MAS) faces another airliner accident, involving its Flight MH17 which has been reported to have crashed in Ukraine.

On the latest development, MH17 was reported by a foreign media to have been "shot down" while it was cruising at an altitude of 30,000ft and crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border.

The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 280 passengers and 15 crew.

Four months ago, on March 8, MAS plane MH370, enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard, went missing and believed to have ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

The search for the aircraft was still on-going with no trace of its debris been found.

In a quick reaction, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib tweeted, "was shocked by the report that MAS airliner crashed, launching an immediate investigation on the report".

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin when contacted by Bernama said Wisma Putra was working closely with the Russian and Ukraine governments on the news report.

MAS in a statement had confirmed it had received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, about 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

The aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, was ready to provide whatever assistance requested by authorities in regards to MH17.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the Malaysia Airlines airplane lost over Ukrainian airspace, as well as their families and loved ones," it said in a statement issued from Seattle Thursday.

The Ukranian Government portal at http://www.kmu.gov.ua/ on Wednesday had issued a statement on the situation at the Ukranian-Russian border, saying that the situation there remained tense.

"Border guards continue performing tasks within the ATO general plan. Russian mercenaries and terrorists keep shelling border guard units," said the website.

- BERNAMA

 

 

Putin Offers Condolences To Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his condolences to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in regard to the Malaysian Airliner crash over the Ukrainian territory.

Vladimir noted in his official website, http://eng.kremlin.ru , that the crash led to numerous casualties.

"The President of Russia asked the Prime Minister of Malaysia to convey his deepest sympathy and support to the victims' families," the website added.

Najib in his tweet said he was shocked by reports that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 enroute from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur had crashed.

An international news agency reported that a Malaysian airplane had crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border today.

MAS in its latest tweet said it lost contact with the flight and the last known position was over Ukrainian airspace.

-- BERNAMA

 

MH17: Najib Will Brief The Media At 4am

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will brief the media at 4am, Friday, on the Malaysia Airlines' plane crash in Ukraine.

An aide to the Prime Minister said the Press conference would be held at the flight management building, KLIA.

The Prime Minister had on learning the news expressed shock on Twitter and announced the launch of an investigation.

The Boeing 777 KL-bound flight from Amsterdam reportedly had 280 passengers and 15 crew on board.

- NST

 

  Obama Speaks To Putin Amid Malaysia Passenger Plane Crash In Ukraine

President Barack Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday at the Kremlin’s request, a conversation in which they briefly discussed reports that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying nearly 300 people had been reportedly shot down near the Ukrainian border. 

“President Putin near the end of the call with Obama noted the early reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border,” a White House pool report said, reading out comments from White House press secretary Josh Earnest aboard Air Force One. 

The Kremlin also provided a readout on its website: “The Russian leader informed the U.S. president of the report from air traffic controllers that the Malaysian plane had crashed on Ukrainian territory, which had arrived immediately before the phone call.”

There were no survivors of the crash. An adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister has said 23 U.S. citizens were among those on board who were killed in the crash.

Earnest told reporters the Kremlin requested the call to discuss new sanctions leveled by the United States on Russia Wednesday. The Kremlin said the leaders “discussed in detail the acute crisis in Ukraine.”

“Putin reiterated the need for the immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities by both parties in the south-east of Ukraine, [which] has led to numerous deaths and forced hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to seek refuge in Russia,” the Kremlin said in its readout, according to a Google translation. 

The Kremlin also noted Putin expressed “serious disappointment” over the U.S.’s decision to impose new sanctions on Russia.

The White House has not provided a full readout of the call.

- Business Insider

 

 

Rebel Site Suggests Insurgents Shot Down Flight MH17 ‘By Mistake’ 

KIEV: A social media site attributed to a top Ukrainian rebel commander said the insurgents had shot down an army transporter at the location where a Malaysia Airlines plane crashed yesterday near the Russian border.

The comments by the top military commander of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" suggest the separatists had shot down the Malaysia Airlines plane by mistake, believing it was a large Ukrainian army transport plane.

"We just downed an An-26 near Torez. It is down near the Progress mine," said the VK page attributed to Igor Strelkov, which is frequently quoted by Ukrainian media.

The rebels shot down another An-26 in rebel-held eastern Ukraine on June 14, killing 49 government servicemen.

"We had warned (the Ukrainian armed forces) not to fly in 'our sky'," Strelkov says in the post.

"And here is a video confirming that a 'bird fell'," said the post.

The website then provides a link that is identical to that published by Ukrainian media in reports about the Malaysia Airlines jet.

The video shows locals referring to the Progress coal mine mentioned by Strelkov. 

— Reuters   

 

Many Dead At Flight MH17 Crash Site

GRABOVE: Dozens of severely mutilated corpses could be seen strewn in the wreckage of a Malaysian airliner that crashed today in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Debris was spread out for kilometres and the tail of a passenger jet lay in a corn field with the Malaysian Airlines insignia on it while insurgent fighters and several fire trucks were seen nearby the crash site. 

— Reuters   

 

Pro-Russia Rebels: Flight MH17 Shot Down By Ukraine Jet 

DONETSK: Pro-Russian rebels fighting central Kiev authorities claimed today that the Malaysian airline that crashed in Ukraine had been shot down by a Ukrainian jet.

“Witnesses watching the flight of the Boeing 777 passenger plane saw it being attacked by a battle plane of the Ukrainian forces,” the government of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic said in a statement.

“After that the passenger plane split in two in the air and fell on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” said the statement, adding that the Ukrainian jet was shot down afterwards. 

— Reuters 

 

 

MAS: 295 People Were Aboard Downed MH17

KIEV: A Malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in rebel-held east Ukraine, regional officials said today, as Ukraine’s president said the jet may have been shot down.

Malaysia Airlines said it had “lost contact” with flight MH17, which Ukrainian officials said came down near the town of Shaktarsk, in the Donetsk region.

Regional officials said the number of dead was “not yet known” but Russian news agency Itar-Tass cited an unnamed source at Ukraine’s aviation authority as saying there were no survivors.

Eyewitnesses quoted by Russian news agency RIA Novosti spoke of dozens of bodies at the crash site.

Interfax also quoted the deputy prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Andrei Purgin, as saying a group of rebels had arrived at scene and found “many dead”.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the jet may have been shot down.

“We do not exclude that the plane was shot down and confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky,” Poroshenko said in a statement.

The Boeing 777 aircraft was expected in the Malaysian capital at around 6:00 am on Friday (2200 GMT Thursday), Malaysia Airlines said.

Still reeling from the disappearance of flight MH370, Malaysia announced on Twitter the loss of the airliner.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on his Twitter feed he was “shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed.”

“We are launching an immediate investigation.”

Ukraine’s Poroshenko expressed his “deepest and sincerest sympathies for the families and loved ones of those killed” and vowed that “those behind this tragedy will be brought to justice.”

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama had discussed the shocking new development in crisis-torn Ukraine where fighting between pro-Russian separatists and the Western-backed government has claimed over 600 lives.

US stocks fell sharply following reports the plane had been shot down, while Britain’s Foreign Office said it was “working urgently to find out what’s happened.”

The incident comes just months after Malaysia’s Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 with 239 on board. The plane diverted from its Kuala Lumpur to Beijing flight path and its fate remains a mystery despite a massive aerial and underwater search.

Ukrainian jet ‘downed’

The crash came with tensions already soaring after Kiev accused Russia of downing a Ukrainian military plane on a mission over the east of the country.

That allegation came a day after the US and EU bolstered sanctions against Russia over its perceived support of the separatist insurgency in the ex-Soviet state.

Moscow condemned the punitive measures as “blackmail” and warned of retaliatory actions against Washington.

In the first direct claim of a Russian attack on Ukrainian forces, Kiev said a Russian airforce jet shot down a Ukrainian warplane Wednesday evening—before the fresh round of Western sanctions were announced—as it was carrying out its duties.

The pilot of the Su-25 plane managed to eject and was rescued by Kiev forces, Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council said.

Russia’s defence ministry—which NATO claims has massed some 12,000 troops along Ukraine’s porous border—dismissed the claim as “absurd”, Russian news agencies reported.

Sanctions fallout

The dramatic developments on the ground came alongside a major diplomatic fallout over fresh Western sanctions that Washington and Brussels hope will force Moscow to help halt the conflict.

Obama took a swipe at major players in Russia’s finance, military and energy sectors in the new sanctions despite a warning from Putin that the measures would inflict “very serious damage” on the already tattered US-Russia relationship.

In eastern Ukraine fierce fighting between government forces and pro-Moscow rebels has intensified in recent days with some 55 civilians killed since the weekend.

The fighting forced more than a dozen Ukrainian border guards to flee into Russia seeking medical help with one dying from his injuries, the Russian authorities said.

Germany and France have been spearheading a push to revive talks between Kiev and the rebels over a potential ceasefire but attempts to hold a Skype videoconference fell through Tuesday.

Ukrainian forces made a string of major gains after Poroshenko tore up an unsuccessful ceasefire earlier this month, but progress has slowed since rebels retreated into two major regional centres where they have pledged to fight to the end. 

— Reuters 

 

MAS Release Official Statement

Below is the official statement from Malaysia Airlines regarding flight MH17:

Media Statement 1 - MH17 Incident
Released at 12:30am/18 July 2014

Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Flight MH17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard.

More details to follow.

 

- MAS Airlines

 

 

Burning Wreckage, Dozens Of Bodies At Scene Of Flight MH17 Crash In Ukraine 

GRABOVO: Dozens of bodies were scattered around the smouldering wreckage of a passenger jet that crashed in eastern Ukraine today, a Reuters reporter said.

An emergency services rescue worker said at least 100 bodies had so far been found at the scene, near the village of Grabovo, and that debris from the wreckage was scattered across an area up to about 15 km (nine miles) in diametre.

Broken pieces of the wings were marked with blue and red paint — the same colours as the emblem of the Malaysian airline which lost track of a flight from Amsterdamto Kuala Lumpur that was carrying almost 300 people. 

— Reuters 

 

Ukraine Says Rebels Shot Down Flight MH17, 295 Dead 

GRABOVO: A Malaysian airliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian militants yesterday, killing all 295 people aboard, a Ukrainian interior ministry official said.

Raising the stakes in the East-West showdown between Kiev and Moscow, the official blamed “terrorists” using a ground-to-air missile and Ukraine’s prime minister called the downing of the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur a “catastrophe”.

A Reuters correspondent saw burning wreckage and bodies on the ground at the village of Grabovo, about 40 km (25 miles) from the Russian border in an area where pro-Russian rebels have been active and have claimed to have shot down other aircraft.

The Boeing 777 came down near the city of Donetsk, stronghold of pro-Russian rebels, interior ministry official Anton Gerashchenko said on Facebook, adding it was “shot down with a Buk anti-aircraft system by terrorists” - the term the Kiev government uses for militants seeking to unite eastern Ukraine with Russia. The dead were 280 passengers and 15 crew.

Malaysia Airlines said on its Twitter feed it had lost contact with its flight MH-17 from Amsterdam.

“The last known position was over Ukrainian air space,” it said.

A rebel leader said Ukrainian forces shot the airliner down. Ukrainian official said their military was not involved.

Interfax-Ukraine quoted another Ukrainian official as saying the plane disappeared from radar when it was flying at 10,000m, a typical cruising altitude for airliners.

Ukraine has accused Russia of taking an active role in the four-month-old conflict in recent days and accused it earlier on Thursday of shooting down a UkrainianSukhoi Su-25 fighter jet - an accusation that Moscow denied.

The military commander of the rebels, a Russian named Igor Strelkov, had written on his social media page shortly before the report of the airliner being downed that his forces had brought down an Antonov An-26 in the same area. It is a turboprop transport plane of a type used by Ukraine’s forces. 

— Reuters

 

Malaysia PM Orders Probe On MH17 Crash

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has ordered an immediate investigation into unconfirmed reports claiming that a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane had been shot down in eastern Ukraine.

In a posting on his Twitter page here, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed shock at the incident.

“I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation,” he wrote.

Earlier tonight, Russian news agency Interfax cited aviation sources as saying that the MAS passenger airline had come down in eastern Ukraine.

Flight MH17 from Amsterdam was en route to Kuala Lumpur when the incident happened, according to reports.

All 295 people aboard the jetliner are said to be dead, the unconfirmed reports said.

MAS has also confirmed losing contact with Flight MH17, saying in a Twitter posting:

“Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow.”

- The Malay Mail

 

 Transport Minister: I Am Still Checking On News Of The MH17 Crash 

KUALA LUMPUR: Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai is still checking on news which said a Malaysian airliner had crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border today.

Liow, who is currently in Beijing, said this when he was contacted by Bernama a few minutes after the news was flashed by Reuters.

“I am still checking on the matter at this point of time. I will keep you updated if there is anything,” he added.

According to a Reuters report, a Malaysian passenger airliner MH17 with 295 people on board crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border on Thursday, the Interfax news agency cited an aviation industry source as saying.

The Boeing plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, it said.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.

The Interfax report said the plane came down 50km short of entering Russian airspace. 

— Bernama 

 

PM Tweeted #MH17

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak expressed his thoughts over the MH17 incident on his Twitter:

najib-mh17najib-mh17

Investigation is currently in the process.

- mD

 

Malaysia Airliner Crashes In East Ukraine Near Russia Border

A Malaysian airliner reportedly with 295 people on board has crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border, on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia Airlines said it had lost contact with Flight MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukraine, it said in a tweet.

An aviation source in Moscow told Reuters the plane had been found burning on the ground in east Ukraine.

Separatist rebels have been fighting government forces in the region.

Analysis: Jonathan Beale, BBC News

A defence expert has told the BBC that shooting down a plane at 10,000m (9.7 miles) would have required a long- range surface-to-air missile - possibly guided by radar.

That suggests it is unlikely it could have been downed by a portable air defence missile, or Manpad, which has a much shorter range.

The only other possibility is for an aircraft at that height to be downed by a fighter carrying air-to-air missiles.

The US will have access to satellite imagery that should be able to identify ultra-violet plumes if a long-range surface-to-air missile was fired.

A number of Ukrainian military planes have been shot down by missiles in recent weeks. Ukraine has accused Russia's military of supplying advanced missiles to the rebels.

Earlier on Thursday, Ukrainian officials blamed the Russian air force for shooting down one of its ground attack jets on Wednesday.

Malaysia Airlines in Kuala Lumpur said it had lost contact with the plane

Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the plane had been hit by a missile at an altitude of 10,000m (33,000ft). The claim could not be verified independently.

The source which spoke to Reuters about burning wreckage on the ground said the plane had failed to enter Russian airspace.

The UK Foreign Office said it was aware of the reports of the crash and was "urgently working to establish what has happened".

- BBC

 

 

 Ukraine Says Malaysian Airliner Shot Down, 295 Dead: Agency

A Malaysian airliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine by militants on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard, a Ukrainian interior ministry official was quoted as saying by Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

The aircraft, which other sources said was a Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, came down near the city of Donetsk, stronghold of pro-Russian rebels, Anton Gerashchenko said, adding that it was hit by a ground-to-air missile.

There was no further confirmation of the report, although Ukrainian officials said local residents had found wreckage.

Malaysia Airlines said on its Twitter feed it had lost contact with its flight MH-17 from Amsterdam. "The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace," it said.

Gerashchenko was quoted as saying: "A civilian airliner travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has just been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft system ... 280 passengers and 15 crew have been killed."

Interfax-Ukraine quoted another Ukrainian official as saying the plane disappeared from radar when it was flying at 10,000 metres (33,000 feet), a typical cruising altitude for airliners.

It came down at Torez, near Shakhtersk, some 40 km (25 miles) from the Russia border. The area has been the scene of fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels.

Ukraine has accused Russia of taking an active role in the four-month-old conflict in recent days and accused it earlier on Thursday of shooting down a Ukrainian fighter jet - an accusation that Moscow denied.

- Reuters

 

 

 Ukraine Shot Down MAS Plane, All 295 Dead, Says Interfax Report  

MOSCOW: Interfax Agency says Malaysian passenger airlines was shot down at altitude of 10km above eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisers say 280 passengers, 15 crew dead in the crash.

MAS just tweeted that it has lost contact with its plane over Ukraine. 

— Reuters

 

 

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 'Shot Down In Ukraine Near Russian Border'

A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet is reported to have been shot down near the Russia - Ukraine border.

Unconfirmed reports from Interfax news agency say the Boeing 777 was shot down at altitude.

Sources say 280 passengers and 15 crew members were onboard the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

It was reportedly at 32,000ft when it was shot down but it is as yet unconfirmed whether the aircraft was in Russian or Ukrainian airspace.

A Russian aviation industry source has told Reuters that the Malaysia Airlines plane didn't enter Russian airspace at the time it was expected to, and crashed in Eastern Ukraine.

Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor at Ukraine's interior ministry, told Bloomberg it was Ukrainian rebels who shot down the plane.

This afternoon Malaysia Airlines tweeted it had: "lost contact of [sic] of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow."

The flight is understood to have been around four-and-a-half hours into its 11-and-a-half hour journey.

- The Huffington Post

 

 

Malaysia Airlines Says It Lost Contact With MH17: Flight's Last Known Position Over Ukraine Airspace.

A Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in eastern Ukraine, Russian news agency Interfax reported Thursday.

Malaysia Airlines confirmed that it lost contact with MH17, and the flight's last known position was over Ukrainian airspace, the airline said on Twitter.

The jet is a Boeing 777, according to Interfax.

The plane reportedly went down near the border between Russia and Ukraine.

- CNN

 

 KIEV: A Malaysian airliner flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in east Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels are battling government forces, Russian and Ukrainian news agencies reported, citing aviation and security sources.

The Boeing passenger liner came down close to town of Shaktarsk in the rebellion-wracked region of Donetsk after disappearing from the radar and teams from the emergency services were trying to reach the scene, an unnamed security source told Interfax-Ukraine news agency. 

- AFP

 

A Malaysian passenger airliner with 295 people on board crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border, Interfax cited an aviation industry source as saying on Thursday.

It said the Boeing plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Reuters could not immediately confirm the Interfax report.

- Reuters