Friday, July 18, 2014

#MH17 Malaysia Airlines Plane Crashes Updated/ 18July2014/ 1200

• Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 'shot down' in Ukraine
• Ukraine claims flight was targeted by Russian forces
• US confirms plane was shot down, unclear by whom
• 298 aboard the plane with none surviving
• Delegates heading to HIV conference in Melbourne among dead
• White House calls for ceasefire to access crash site 
• Nine Britons confirmed to have died in the tragedy 
 Emergecy contact: 00 60 37884 1234


04.30 The White House has urged Russia, pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine to support an immediate cease-fire in order to permit safe and unfettered access to the crash site.
QuoteIt is critical that there be a full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation as quickly as possible," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.
"It is vital that no evidence be tampered with in any way and that all potential evidence and remains at the crash site are undisturbed."
02.50 US Secretary of State John Kerry has called for a "credible" international investigation into the apparent downing of the airliner over rebel-held eastern Ukraine..
QuoteWe are horrified by the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The United States government remains prepared to assist with a credible, international investigation any way we can, and we will continue to be in touch with all relevant partners as we seek the facts of what happened today."
02.12 Australia's Qantas Airways , Korea Air Lines Co Ltd and Asiana Airlines Inc have confirmed that they shifted flights operating over Ukrainian air space months ago amid increasing tensions between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels.
The Australian flag carrier said it shifted the flight path for its London to Dubai route over Ukraine some 400 nautical miles to the south "several months ago."
A Qantas spokesman declined to comment on the reasons for the shift, but a spokeswoman at Asiana Airlines, which stopped flying over the area on March 3, cited intensifying geopolitical tensions. Korean Air Lines stopped flights at the same time.
Also, reports the Telegraph's David Millward, US authorities have joined the list of countries banning flights over eastern Ukraine.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airman - a directive known in the industry as a NOTAM - expanding the prohibited area to include the entire Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk flight information regions. An earlier directive already covered the Crimea and adjacent areas if the Black Sea and Sea of Azov
01.50 Some of the passengers on the plane were heading to a major international AIDS conference in Melbourne, the Australian government has confirmed.
Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was due to connect with a flight to Perth, in western Australia.
UNAIDS Director Michael Sidibe, who is in Melbourne, tweeted that many passengers were enroute to the conference.
"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," the conference organisers, the International AIDS Society, said in a statement.
The week-long 20th International Aids Conference, with scheduled speakers including former US President Bill Clinton, is due to begin on Sunday.
01.03 Malaysia Airlines have moved to stress that the flight route taken by the plane that came down in Ukraine had been declared safe by the UN aviation arm, the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
They also said the International Air Transportation Association “had stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions”.
The airline said the plane was carrying a total 298 people, including three infants - 283 passengers and 15 crew. It earlier said it had been carrying 295 people which did not account for the three young children.
Netherlands 154
Malaysia 43
Australia 27
Indonesia 12
United Kingdom 9
Germany 4
Belgium 4
Philippines 3
Canada 1
Unverified 41
00.35 Malaysia Airlines have confirmed that there were 283 passengers on flight MH17 as well as 15 crew. They have also confirmed that all of their European flights will be diverted so as not to travel through Ukrainian airspace.
00.28 There have been unconfirmed reports on social media that some leading international Aids researchers and scientists were on the flight en route to Melbourne for the 2014 World Aids Conference.
00.18 The latest thinking on the provenance of the missile, according to the Wall Street Journal.
US intelligence agencies are divided over whether the missile was launched by the Russian military or by pro-Russia separatist rebels, who officials say lack the expertise on their own to bring down a commercial airline in mid-flight.
"All roads lead to the Russians to some degree," a US official told the newspaper.
00.01 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has added to his initial comments branding the tragedy an "act of terror", insisting the event poses a security challenge world wide and not just in Ukraine.
QuoteToday’s tragedy showed again that terrorism is not localised, but a world problem. And the external aggression against Ukraine is not just our problem, but a threat to European and global security."
23.29 Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Ukraine is ultimately responsible for the crash of a Malaysian airline carrying 298 people in the strife-torn east of the country.
QuoteThere is no doubt that the country on whose territory this terrible tragedy happened bears responsibility,” Putin was quoted by Ria Novosti news agency as saying.
“This tragedy would not have happened if there was peace in the country, if military operations had not resumed in the south-east of Ukraine.”
The Russian leader added that he had ordered military officials to“provide all aid needed to shed light on this criminal act.”
23.15 Journalists covering the separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine have been some of the first to chronicle first hand the gruesome carnage, with searing eye-witness reports from the wheat field where flight MH17 smashed to earth.
QuoteA woman in a black sweater top lay on her back, blood streaming from her face, her left arm raised as if signaling someone,” wrote Sabrine Tavernise, a New York Times correspondent.
“Another victim, naked except for a black bra, lay on the field, her grey hair mixing with the green grasses, one leg broken and her body torn."
Rescue workers from the local militia forces tied pieces of white cloth on tree branches as near to the scene as they could as approximate markers of where bodies were found.
Locals told Noah Sneider, a freelance American journalist, that at first they thought they were being bombed as the plane tore apart above the ground, raining wreckage, bodies and personal possessions along a debris path cut across the rural area.
22.40 We reported earlier that the Ukrainian security services had released what they say are recordings proving that Russian military intelligence ordered MH17 to be shot down (20.16), and later the English transcript of that call (21.00). Here's the recording again with full English subtitles included this time.



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