Kiev: A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 295 people on board is reported to have been shot down in Ukraine near the Russian border on Thursday evening. There are reports of wreckage and many bodies being found. (Live Updates)
Malaysia Airlines said on its Twitter feed that it had lost contact with its flight MH-17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. "The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow," the Airline said. (Tweets on the Crash)
A Reuters reporter said dozens of bodies were scattered around the smouldering wreckage of a passenger jet that had crashed in eastern Ukraine. 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 in diameter.
Broken pieces of the wings were marked with blue and red paint - the same colours as the emblem of Malaysian Airlines.
A Ukrainian interior ministry official was quoted by Interfax-Ukraine news agency 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." Anton Gerashchenko accused pro-Russia militants of bringing down the plane. (Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was Hit by Missile: Ukraine Official)
But a separatist leader in the region, Alexander Borodai, alleged that the airliner was shot shot by Ukrainian government forces, a charge which Ukraine's President has denied. The area has been the scene of fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia rebels. (Pro-Russian Separatist Leader Blames Kiev for Downing Plane, Ukraine Denies)
Malaysian prime minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak said he is launching an immediate probe into the reported jetliner crash. PM Razak is reportedly heading to the crash site.
US president Barack Obama has reportedly spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone. The White House said President Obama has directed senior US officials to remain in close touch with Ukrainian officials about the plane. (Obama Talks to Putin, Asks Aides for Plane Reports)
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.
The tragic crash comes just four months after another Malaysian Airlines plane, MH 370, disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in China. It had 239 people on board. Extensive searches have failed to find the aircraft.