Saturday, July 19, 2014

#MH17 Malaysia Airlines Plane Crashes Updated/ 19July2014/ 1200

• Malaysia Airlines crash: everything we know so far
• Obama demands Putin rein in pro-Russian separatists
• UK says Russia needs 'to think carefully'
• Will Malaysia Airlines survive?
• 298 aboard the plane with none surviving
• Delegates heading to HIV conference in Melbourne among dead
 Emergency contact: 00 60 37884 1234


23.45 Thanks very much for following our live coverage, which is wrapping up here for the night.
22.00 A possible glimmer of good news: Obama said earlier that nearly 100 HIV researchers were feared dead. Chris Breyer, the incoming president of the International AIDS Society, said he and his team were trying to confirm the final number but they "think the actual number is much smaller"
21.35 Michael Bociurkiw, spokesman for the the OSCE's 25-strong team in Ukraine, tells CNN that bodies of the passengers are "starting to partially decompose in the hot sun". He says that the rebels don't appear to tampering with evidence but that it's difficult to know given how large the scene is.
QuoteIt basically looks like one of the biggest, or the biggest, crime scenes in the world right now, guarded by a bunch of guys in uniform with heavy fire power, who are quite inhospitable.
It's still unclear what's happened to the black boxes.
21.21 While the Ukrainian government is working closely with the West to counter Russia, it hasn't so far heeded American calls for a ceasefire. That may be partly because its forces are making progress against the separatists and Kiev is unwilling to give up the initiative.
21.05 Barack Obama said earlier that the downing of MH17 should be "a wake-up call" to Europe to get serious about confronting Russia over Ukraine after EU leaders have proved reluctant to impose tought sanctions. The Wall Street Journal reports Obama is getting his wish and Brussels is now weighing new sanctions:
OpinionEuropean governments, jolted by the downing of a passenger plane over eastern Ukraine that killed nearly 300 people, are contemplating a major expansion of sanctions on Russia as early as next week.
European Union leaders decided in recent days to expand the penalties to a broad new category of people and companies. But the apparent shooting down of a plane carrying more than 200 EU citizens has intensified a desire to act quickly and forcefully, including sanctions against oligarchs with ties to the Kremlin.
In Brussels, some diplomats described the incident as a game-changer. "It would have major consequences if it was certain it came from the rebels— major consequences," said one official.
20.48 The US has called for a ceasefire in the region to allow investigators to get to the scene and for bodies to be recovered. Doesn't sound like it's happening.
20.34 Fidel Castro, fresh from meeting with Vladmir Putin in Cuba a few days ago, is blaming Ukraine for the downing of MH17, saying it was flying over territory "under the control of the bellicose government of the chocolate king Petro Poroshenko," using the nickname of the Ukrainian president.
Unfortunately for the aging Cold War leader, the territory is in fact under the control of pro-Russian separatists.
20.22 Observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were not able to fully access the crash site and revels fired into the air as they approached. Thomas Greminger, chair of the OSCE council, said:
QuoteThey did not have the kind of access that they expected. They did not have the freedom of movement that they need to do their job. The crash site is not sealed off ... In the current circumstances, they were not able to help securing this corridor that would allow access for those that would want to investigate.
20.00 Among the dead was Quinn Schansman, a young dual Dutch-US citizen, whose Facebook page indicated he had moved to Amsterdam earlier this year. He was reportedly flying to Malaysia to join his family on holiday. Here's a tragic picture of him and his girlfriend:
19.44 The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) urged airlines on Friday to avoid flying over eastern Ukraine following the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight in the region.
EASA said in a statement its safety notice affected the Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk regions of Ukraine.
"The Agency draws the aviation community's attention to the possible existence of serious risks to the safety of international civil flights and the consequent airspace restrictions implemented," it said.
The move comes after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an order on Thursday night prohibiting American aircraft from flying over eastern Ukraine.
19.23 Our former transport editor, David Millward, weighs up whether Malaysia Airlines can survive this tragedy.
 The airline’s stock closed 11 per cent down, he writes, as investors displayed anxiety at the airline’s prospects.
They need to renew their fleet - yet reported an annual loss of $300 million (£176 million) last year.
And, as one aviation expert told him:
QuoteTo lose two aircraft, and over 500 passengers within six months is devastating.
19.17 Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, held a press conference earlier on.
He vowed "not to rest" in tracking down those responsible.
Visibly angry, he said:
QuoteLet me be crystal-clear about this.
Should it emerge that it was an attack, I will personally see to it that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
We will not rest until they have been brought to book. We owe it to the victims and their families.
19.07 Our Washington correspondent, Raf Sanchez, has been looking at how world leaders have reacted to the tragedy.
18.58 As we discover more names of victims, so more tales of horror are emerging.
At 14.02, we told you how Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on board MH370 when it vanished in March.
Her stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was on MH17.
And now it turns out that a Malaysian air steward lost her husband in MH370 - and her friends in M17.
She said:
QuoteHow you expect me to fly ??? I think I will hang my uniform very soon.
18.52 The ground search continues. We know both black boxes have been found - but we don't know whether they are still in Ukraine, or in Russia.
Capt. Wan Amran Wan Hussin, who had been a pilot for Malaysia Airlines for 25 years, sent his wife, Meriam Yusoff, the message on WhatsApp.
She learned of the tragedy when a local television station called and told her to watch the TV.
18.31 Our home affairs correspondent, David Barrett, has just received confirmation that the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) is to send a team to the crash team to assist in the investigation.
The involvement of independent British experts will be crucial in establishing the truth behind the disaster, particularly the role played by any military hardware.
18.21 Our correspondent at the crash site, Roland Oliphant, brings us the latest news from the scene.
He said:
QuoteTwenty four hours after this plane went down, in a sunflower field 40 miles east of Donetsk, Ukrainian emergency workers are still gathering bodies which are scattered - along with the wreckage of the plane, the cargo and the personal affects of passengers - across a vast area.
It's impossible to judge the size of the area, but it's clear that it's very widely spread out.
We saw wreckage up to six miles from the main site.
There's no gunfire to be heard at the moment, although we had to divert our route quite considerably on the way here from Kharkiv.
Fighting is continuing elsewhere in the region, and The Telegraph heard shelling south of Slaviansk near the town of Artyomsk.
18.17 Sky News reporting that the European team heading to the crash site have not been able to do so - because it's not safe.
18.12 The Telegraph's deputy head of technology, Matthew Sparkes, has been looking at a "Wikipedia War" breaking out - with controversial edits of the MH17 page originating in Russia.
 He writes:
It appears that an internet user from within the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) changed a Russian language version of a page listing civil aviation accidents to say that: "The plane [flight MH17] was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers".
That edit replaced text – written just an hour earlier - which said MH17 had been shot down "by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation."
18.02 We've just received clips from Obama's press conference:
17.54 This is the latest breakdown of nationalities - remember that, in the past hour or so, the death toll for Britons has risen to 10, and Obama announced that one person with joint American-Dutch citizenship was on board.
Malaysia's UN Ambassador Hussein Haniff told the council that 298 people perished and gave the following breakdown of their nationalities:
Netherlands (189)
Malaysia (44)
Australia (27)
Indonesia (12)
United Kingdom (10)
Germany (4)
Belgium (4)
Philippines (3)
Canada (1)
New Zealand (1)
- 3 passengers whose nationalities had not been verified.
Source: telegraph


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