As it happened: Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine

Key points

  • A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane crashes in Ukraine, near Russian border
  • The airline lost contact with Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at 1415 GMT
  • There were 280 passengers - mostly Dutch nationals - and 15 Malaysian crew on board
  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has described it as "an act of terrorism"
  • Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels accuse each other of shooting down the plane
  • All times in BST (GMT +1)

Live text


  • Amber Dawson 
  • Jastinder Khera 
  • Sarah Fowler 
  • Sean Clare 
  • Helier Cheung 
  • Tom Geoghegan 

Last updated 17 July 2014


Reports suggest a passenger plane has crashed in eastern Ukraine. The early reports come from an "aviation source" who was quoted by the privately-owned Russian Interfax news agency


The crash has reportedly happened on the Ukrainian side of the Russia - Ukraine border, scene of tension between the two countries.


The Boeing 777 plane was flying in an international air corridor over eastern Ukraine when it crashed, the Russian news agency reported.


The Interfax news agency reported 295 people - 280 passengers and 15 crew members - were on board the flight, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.


Again according to the Interfax agency only, Anton Herashchenko an adviser to the Ukrainian deputy interior minister has apparently confirmed the crash.


The BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow says that the area in which the plane is reported to have come down is right in the centre of the area controlled by anti-Kiev rebels - although of course details are still coming in.

BREAKING 16:39 Breaking News

Malaysia Airlines tweets it has lost contact with flight MH17 from Amsterdam. "The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace," it says. "More details to follow."


Aviation expert Chris Yates says the plane would have been full, if reports that it was carrying 295 passengers are correct. He says the plane would have been flying at a height of some six miles (9.7km).


An advisor to the Ukrainian interior minister, Anton Gerashenko, says the plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 metres (33,000 feet) when it was "hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher", in a post on his Facebook page, according to the Associated Press.


The Associated Press says one of its journalists saw a similar launcher near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhe earlier on Thursday.