A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet which crashed as it flew over eastern Ukraine with 295 people on board was reportedly shot down.
The aircraft, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was travelling at an altitude of 10,000 metres when it was shot down on Thursday, Russia’s Interfax reported.
An adviser to the Ukrainian interior ministry told the news agency the Boeing 777 was brought down by a Buk ground-to-air missile.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko denied his armed forces were involved in the downing of the airliner.
“Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets,” Poroshenko said.
Malaysian Airlines confirmed it had lost contact with flight MH17 from Amsterdam, saying the aircraft was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew. Non are believed to have survived the crash.
The Associated Press news agency reported that its journalist had counted at least 22 bodies at the site of the plane wreckage.
It added that the field around the burning wreck was strewn with body parts and belongings of the passengers.
“Malaysia Airlines confirms 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 statement said.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister reacted on Twitter saying: “I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation.”
A flight tracking website showed that one flight path was interrupted in Ukraine. The plane appeared to have come down in a region of military action where Ukrainian government forces are battling pro-Russian separatists.