Malaysia Airlines jet crashes in Ukraine; official says 295 people ‘shot down’ (CNN) – A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, prompting swift accusations from Ukrainian officials that “terrorists” shot down the aircraft.
The Boeing 777 carrying 295 people went down near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, according to a Facebook post from a top Ukrainian official, as it flew at about 10,000 meters (nearly 33,000 feet) on the way from Amsterdam to Malaysia.
Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, said in a Facebook post that “terrorists” fired on the plane operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system.
One radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down Thursday, according to the official. A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit, the official said. The United States is analyzing the trajectory of the missile to try to learn where the attack came from.
In other developments:
– “We must and we will find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone will be left unturned,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters. He called for an international team to have full access to the crash site.”If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice,” he said.
– U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that Ukraine’s president accepted an offer of U.S. experts to investigate the crash of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner there, adding “they will be on their way rapidly to see if we can get to the bottom of this.