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Malaysia Airlines passenger jet reportedly shot down in Ukraine
07-17-2014, 11:57 AM (This post was last modified: 07-17-2014 12:02 PM by Joe-Nathan.)
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Exclamation Malaysia Airlines passenger jet reportedly shot down in Ukraine
Malaysia Airlines passenger jet reportedly shot down in Ukraine

Published July 17, 2014
FoxNews.com



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[Image: crashsite660_20140717_125515.jpg]
Quote:A Malaysian Airlines passenger plane with 295 aboard was shot
down by a surface-to-air missile in Ukraine near the Russian border a
day after a Ukrainian military jet was downed, according to multiple
reports.


Multiple reports, including from Russia's Interfax news agency, said
the Boeing 777 was shot down at cruising altitude. Anton Gerashenko, an
adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister told The Associated press that
the plane, carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew people onboard was shot
down by a missile fired from a Buk launcher. A similar launcher was seen
by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of
Snizhne earlier Thursday.


"The President of Ukraine on behalf of the State expresses its
deepest and most sincere condolences to the families and relatives of
those killed in this terrible tragedy," said a statement released by
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's office. "Every possible search
and rescue effort is being made."


The airline, which saw one of its fleet disappear over the Indian
Ocean in March, confirmed only that "an incident" had occurred involving
the Boeing 777, which was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.


“Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam," read a
tweet from the airline. "The last known position was over Ukrainian
airspace. More details to follow,” read a tweet from Malaysia Airlines’
account.


Gerashenko wrote on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an
altitude of 33,000 feet when it was hit. A Reuters correspondent near
the scene reported seeing burning wreckage and bodies strewn across the
ground. A Ukrainian Emergency official told the news agency body parts
were scattered up to nine miles around the crash site and at least 100
bodies were seen.


The border area where the plane apparently went down, near the city
of Kremenchuk, has been embroiled in the larger dispute between Ukraine
and ethnic Russian separatists. Fighting has intensified in recent
months in the region. A day before, according to the Ukrainian
government, a Russian military plane shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet
in Ukrainian airspace.


Both sides began pointing fingers following reports that the plane
was shot down. Eastern Ukraine separatist leader Alexander Borodai told
Reuters that Ukrainian military forces shot the jet down, but Kiev
denied involvement. KT McFarland, a former deputy assistant secretary of
defense under President Ronald Reagan, and a Fox News national security
analyst said it is most likely the attack was the work of Russian
separatists, not the Russian or Ukrainian army.


“I think it’s far more likely it was rebel forces in eastern Ukraine trying to get the Russian back involved," McFarland said.


There was widespread speculation among defense experts that if the
Russian separatists were responsible, they were likely targeting a
military plane and downed a passenger jet by mistake.


Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he has directed
the country’s Ministry of Defense to investigate the incident, according
to a message on his Twitter account. He said he could not confirm that
the plane was shot down.


Pentagon Spokesman Col. Steve Warren said he was aware of reports of
the downed passenger jet in Ukraine,but did not have further
information.


A senior White House official said President Obama has been briefed
on the incident. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House
Homeland Security Committee, said whether it was intentional or
accidental it is an "international incident" when a passenger jet is
shot down. McCaul said he believed only a military grade weapon could
have downed the plane.


The Boeing jets are equipped with twin Rolls-Royce Trent engines,
typically cruises at 35,000 feet at speeds up to 639 miles per hour.


On March 8, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, also a Boeing 777 and
carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on a route from Kuala Lumpur to
Beijing, disappeared somewhere over the ocean. It has not been found.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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