Passenger Jet Crashes Over Russian-Ukrainian Border; 295 People Onboard

Published 07/17 2014 10:51AM

Updated 07/17 2014 05:01PM

UPDATE: U.S. officials conclude the Malaysian airline was shot down by a missile. An officials confirms one radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft before the plane went down. A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit.

The U.S. is analyzing the trajectory of the missile to try to learn where the attack came from.

UPDATE:  A Ukrainian government adviser states that they believe a Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam was shot down by Russian separatists.

UPDATE: President Obama commented on the tragedy from a stop in Delaware. “Before I begin, obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border. And it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy. Right now, we’re working to determine whether there were American citizens on-board. That is our first priority, and I’ve directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government. The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why. And as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the passengers, wherever they call home.”

Meanwhile US Senators are speaking out too. As they gather for a meeting of the Intelligence Committee for a briefing on the crash. Senators John McCain and Mark Udall both commented to ABC News:

Sen. John McCain: "IF it has been shot down by either of the

'separatists' it has a profound effect on all of our relations with Russia. We would now have to give arms to the Ukrainian government and have severe sanctions."

Sen. Mark Udall:  The shocking destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 with 295 people aboard has dramatically increased tensions in an already-volatile region, and all sides must take immediate steps to avoid further escalation... President Putin should pull his forces back from the Ukrainian border and suspend Russian support for the separatist forces currently operating in Ukraine."

UPDATE: A Ukrainian government advisor confirmed that a Malaysian Airlines flight to Amsterdam was shot down in the eastern part of the county. An investigation is now underway, advisors said. Malaysian Airlines officials confirm they lost contact with the Boeing 777 that had 295 people onboard. 

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED: ABC News is reporting that a Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam has crashed near the Russian-Ukrainian Border. Malaysian Airlines officials confirm they lost contact with the Boeing 777 that had 295 people onboard. The airline said in a tweet that "the last known position was over Ukraine airspace."

ABC News has acquired video reportedly showing the crashed passenger jet as a large plume of black smoke billowed in the distance.

This is the second high-profile incident involving a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet this year. MH-370 disappeared on March 8th somewhere over the southern Indian Ocean. It has never been found. We'll have more on this story as new details become available.

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