KIEV: Below are the main developments since flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines crashed in rebel-held east Ukraine on Thursday killing all 298 people aboard:
THURSDAY, JULY 17
– A Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people aboard crashes at the village of Grabove, close to the town of Shaktarsk in the rebellion-wracked region of Donetsk in east Ukraine. The plane had disappeared from the radar screens around 4:20 pm local time (1320 GMT) when it was flying at an altitude of 10,000 metres (33,000 feet). More than half of the passengers – 189 – are of Dutch nationality, while around 100 of those who die are delegates en route to Melbourne, via Kuala Lumpur, for the 20th International AIDS Conference, which is due to begin on Sunday. At the crash site an AFP reporter sees dozens of severely mutilated corpses strewn through the smouldering wreck of the decimated airliner. Debris stretches for kilometres in the area near the Russian border, with the jet’s tail marked with the Malaysian Airlines insignia lying in a corn field.
– Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says that the jet may have been shot down and views it as a “terrorist act.” On their side pro-Russian rebels claim that the airliner was shot down by a Ukrainian jet.
– Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine “bears responsibility” for the crash in the strife-torn east of the ex-Soviet state. “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,” he says.
– US officials say that the airliner was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, but it was unclear who fired the weapon.
– The international community calls for a full, transparent and international investigation.
The United States calls for an “immediate ceasefire” in Ukraine to ensure a proper investigation into the crash.
FRIDAY, JULY 18
– Rescue workers at the scene of the crash say one of the aircraft’s black box flight recorders has been found.
– A team of 30 monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) arrive at the crash site.
– German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine to permit “an independent investigation.”
– US President Barack Obama says that a surface-to-air missile fired from separatist-held territory in eastern Ukraine was to blame for the “unspeakable” downing of the airliner. He says rebels would not have been able to hit the airliner without Russian equipment and training. He says the plane downing is a ‘wake up call’ for Europe on Russia
– An initial review of US intelligence suggests pro-Russian separatists likely shot down the airliner, but Washington is still examining the evidence, a US official says.
– Members of the UN Security Council demand a “full, thorough and independent international investigation” into the crash and call for immediate access to the site for investigators. US ambassador Samantha Power says the plane was probably shot down by a SA-11, a common variant of Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile.
– Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak demands that the perpetrators be brought to justice if it is proven that MH17 was shot down.
News Report By: AFP