The Ukrainian Interior Minister said a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday was shot down by Russian anti-aircraft missiles.
Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister confirmed the Boeing 777 jet carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew people was shot down and said that all passengers and crew were killed. Gerashenko said the Malaysian Airliner was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, which is capable of firing missiles up to an altitude of 72,000 feet.
Pro-Russian rebels have denied shooting down the Malaysian airliner, instead blaming Ukrainian armed forces for the attack.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed early reports of the passenger jet crash near the Russia-Ukraine border in a phone call with President Obama Thursday morning.
Malaysia Airlines said it lost contact with a plane, which was flying from Amsterdam, and that its last known position was over Ukrainian airspace.
A tweet from Malaysia airlines official Twitter account reads:
“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,”
If the story sounds familiar, Malaysia Airlines made headlines in March, when another one of its fleet Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished over the Indian Ocean en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is still missing.
To add to the confusion, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's account of Thursday's incident differs from the Ukrainian Prime Minister's claims that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down. In a statement, President Poroshenko said:
"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. We are sure that those who are guilty in this tragedy will be held responsible."