Amateur footage shows smoke rising from the crash site. Photo by The Guardian
At least 100 bodies were found after a jet carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members crashed in eastern Ukraine in a region where separatist rebels have fought Ukrainian military in recent weeks. The craft was reportedly hit by a missile.
The Guardian reports:
A source in the Russian aviation industry told Reuters that the plane did not enter Russian airspace when expected and had crashed in eastern Ukraine.
Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, wrote on his Facebook page that the plane had crashed in Ukrainian territory after being hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher. Associated Press said one of its journalists had seen a similar launcher near the town of Snizhne earlier on Thursday.
Leaders of the self-declared Donetsk people’s republic denied any involvement, according the Interfax news agency. A member of the republic’s security council said the rebels only have weapons able to shoot down a plane at 3,000 metres and blamed Ukrainian military forces for the attack.
Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko called for the creation of a commission to investigate the accident. “This is the third tragic incident in recent days after Ukrainian military An-26 and Su-25 jets were shot down from Russian territory. We don’t rule out that this plane was also shot down, and we stress that the Ukrainian military didn’t take any actions to destroy targets in the air,” he said.
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—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.