US: Airliner shot down over Ukraine


GRABOVO, Ukraine — A Ukrainian official said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday over a town in the east of the country, and Malaysian Airlines tweeted that it lost contact with one of its flights over Ukrainian airspace.

CNN reports the plane was taken down by a surface to air missile.

The Boeing plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet.

He also said it was hit by a missile fired from a Russian made Buk launcher, which can fire missiles up to an altitude of 72,000 feet.

SKY News is reporting that Malaysian Airlines confirmed “an incident” on board one of its flights.

The airline tweeted: “Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam.

The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace.”

The FAA has prohibited U.S. carriers from flying in that area of Ukraine, CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reported. Many international airlines did the same.

President Barack Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the plane crash during a phone call, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed.

The Donetsk region government said Thursday’s plane crashed near a village called Grabovo, which it said is currently under the control of armed pro-Russian separatists. The region where the flight was lost has seen severe fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatist rebels in recent days.

This is the second time that a Malaysia Airlines plane had gone down in less than six months.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 – a Boeing 777 – 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.
Watch LIVE coverage Here.

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