The passenger plane was hit over eastern Ukraine with 295 people on board traveling at an altitude of 33,000 feet. Some reports suggesting that as many as 23 Americans were on board.
An adviser to the Ukrainian interior ministry told the reporters the Boeing 777 was brought down by a Buk ground-to-air missile. All passengers and 15 crew members on the plane are believed to have died, he added.
A spokesman for Malaysia Airlines, still reeling from the loss of flight MH370 in March, confirmed it had lost contact with flight MH17, which took off from Amsterdam’s Schipol airport at 12.15pm local time. The flight disappeared from radar as it flew over Ukrainian airspace, the spokesman said.
An eyewitness said the plane split in two on impact.