World Grieves Together After Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Shot Down

Debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shown smouldering in a field.

SYDNEY — The world is grieving after Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down above eastern Ukraine with 298 people on board. The crash has devastated at least nine nations, with many passengers still yet to be identified.
All on board perished in the fiery crash in rebel-held territory near Torez, Ukraine at approximately 7.11pm local time. It was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the tragedy an "act of terror," as U.S. media reported the Boeing 777 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.
People walk amidst debris at the crash site for Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine on Thursday.

People walk amidst debris at the crash site for Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine on Thursday.
Russian freelance journalist Noah Sneider was one of the first at the crash site. He tweeted about the horror he witnessed:


The Dutch have been hit hard, with 154 nationals on the doomed plane that left Amsterdam airport just after midday local time.
Air Malaysia

Family members are leaving Schiphil airport by special bus in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte told grieving relatives he felt broken by the crash. "The dramatic news of this flight is difficult to comprehend, this is possibly one of the worst air disasters in Dutch history. I am shocked and in mourning," he said.
"This beautiful summer day ends in total blackness. There is still a lot that is unclear."
Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten speaks during a press conference

Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten speaks during a press conference.
Rutte said in a statement he had spoken to the Ukranian president and was cutting his holiday in Brussels short. He was heading to the national crisis centre at The Hague.
ABC's Europe Correspondent Mary Gearin said many people in the Amsterdam would be having a "long and sleepless night" as they wait for details from the ground.
Former International AIDS Society president Joep Lange from Netherlands, along with Glenn Raymond Thomas, a Geneva-based spokesman for World Health Organization, were two of a number of high-profile passengers who were heading to an international AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia.
Joep Lang

Joep Lang died in the crash.


Glenn Thomas who died in the crash.
The International AIDS Society released a statement expressing its "sincere sadness" at the loss of their colleagues.
"A number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight," it said. "At this incredibly sad and sensitive time, the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy."
It has been reported 100 of the 298 people on board were medical researchers, health workers and activists expected to attend the conference.


The news broke in Australia in the early hours of Friday morning. The government said at least 23 Australians dying in the tragedy. Malaysia Airlines believed there were 27 Australians on board.
Air Malaysia MH17

Debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shown smouldering in a field .
Prime Minister Tony Abbott told radio station 3AW: "It is an horrific act, and everyone around the world should be filled with revulsion".
Abbott told a press conference it was a "grim, grim time" for the nation and the world. He said there was strong evidence the plane was shot down by "Russian proxies, using Russian-supplied equipment", and if this proved correct, it was an "unspeakable crime".
Locals took to social media to express their sadness and give condolences to all involved.

Those worried about relatives were urged to call the Department of Foreign Affairs for information.

United Kingdom

Malaysia Airlines said 9 people from the UK lost their life in the tragedy. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he did not have exact numbers, but believes "there were British nationals on board the flight".


Malaysia is struggling to deal with the second airline tragedy this year. MH370 disappeared from the sky in March this year, and has yet to be found. Locals put their support behind their Prime Minister:

There were 43 Malaysians on flight MH17 — including 15 crew and two infants.
Reaction In Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia Airlines listed the other nations so far affected by the tragedy as: Indonesia, which lost 12 nationals including an infant; Germany, with four nationals on board; four people from Belgium; three people from the Philippines; one person from Canada; and another 41 people with nationalities yet to be identified.

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