A hunt for wreckage and evidence is underway in eastern Ukraine Friday after a Malaysia Airlines jetliner with 298 passengers was shot down.
U.S. intelligence authorities said a surface-to-air missile brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Thursday as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, but could not say who fired it.
The Ukraine government in Kiev, the separatist pro-Russia rebels they are fighting and the Russia government that Ukraine accuses of supporting the rebels all deny shooting the passenger plane down. Moscow also denies backing the rebels.
Bodies, debris and burning wreckage of the Boeing 777 were strewn over a field near the rebel-held village of Hrabove in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Russian border, where fighting has raged for months.
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Ben Mutzabaugh - airline reporter for USA Today
If airlines avoid flying over Ukraine, it could lengthening cross-continent flights, use more fuel and ultimately increase the cost of tickets for consumers.
Malaysia Airlines was struggling financially even before the disappearance of Flight MH370. Today's plane disaster will not help the company's financial problems even though the company was not at fault.
Gerry Connolly - Virginia congressman
If the plane was shot down, "I hold Vladimir Putin responsible for the loss of 295 innocent lives."
On Israeli forces entering the Gaza Strip:
"It's a tragedy for everyone involved."
Deborah Hersmann - former NTSB chair, now president and CEO of the National Safety Council
The size and scatter of the debris field can help investigators determine the trajectory of the plane. And by analyzing the debris, investigators can surmise in what order the plane broke apart.
Double disasters taint Malaysia Airlines
Hit by two astonishing tragedies in quick succession, the Malaysia Airlines brand may become the airline industry's equivalent of asbestos or News of the World: toxic to the public and, experts say, impossible to redeem.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed over eastern Ukraine on Thursday with 298 people aboard by what American intelligence authorities believe was a surface-to-air missile. Just four months earlier, a Malaysia Airlines jetliner carrying 239 people disappeared about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. The jet has still not been found, a source of profound unease for travelers and the aviation industry.
"I can't comprehend of anything they can do to save themselves," said Mohshin Aziz, an aviation analyst at Maybank in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Australian PM lashes out at Russia over shot plane
An angry Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday demanded an independent inquiry into the downing of a Malaysian jetliner and said Russia's response to what he called a crime was "deeply, deeply unsatisfactory."
Abbott criticized Russia's Ambassador to Australia Vladimir Morozov, who met earlier Friday with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
According to Abbott, the ambassador's initial response was to blame Ukraine for Thursday's downing of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft, which killed all 298 aboard, including 28 Australians.
Abbott told reporters that the idea that Russia can somehow say that none of this has anything to do with them because it happened in Ukrainian airspace "frankly does not stand up to any serious scrutiny."
"The initial response of the Russian ambassador was to blame Ukraine for this and I have to say that is deeply, deeply unsatisfactory," he said. "I want to say to the Australian people that as far as I am concerned, when you have a situation where Russian-backed rebels appear to have killed Australians using it may well turn out to be Russian-supplied heavy weaponry, Australia takes a very dim view indeed and we want the fullest possible investigation."
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Malaysia says jetliner did not make distress call
The Malaysia Airlines jetliner that went down in war-torn Ukraine did not make any distress call, Malaysia's prime minister said Friday, adding that its flight route had been declared safe by the global civil aviation body.
Najib Razak, who addressed a middle-of-the-night news conference after speaking with leaders of Ukraine and the Netherlands, and to President Barack Obama, said "no stone will be left unturned" in finding out what happened to Flight 17 and the 298 people on board.
It is the second tragedy to hit Malaysia Airlines this year. Its Flight 370 disappeared March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It has not been found, but the search has been concentrated in the Indian Ocean west of Australia.
"This is a tragic day in what has already been a tragic year for Malaysia," Najib said.
In both tragedies, the planes were the wide-bodied Boeing 777-200.
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