Malaysia to work with Russia, Ukraine governments on MH17
Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said Friday that his ministry was working closely with the Russian and Ukraine governments on reports that a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane had crashed in Ukraine, according to Bernama, Xinhua reported.
"We are working closely with both governments to get information," he said, adding, "currently we have some of the information, only waiting to be verified."
Meanwhile, Malaysian local English-language newspaper The Star said the Transport Ministry and the armed forces were still trying to verify whether the crash was due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
"There are many information circulating on the Internet now thus we must be verify each information," he said. "All relevant Malaysian authorities are making contact with their Russian counterparts at this moment."
Malaysia Airlines said in a statement it had received notification from the Ukrainian air traffic control that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 14:15 GMT, some 30 km from the Tamak waypoint, approximately 50 km from the Russia-Ukraine border.
The Boeing 777 had left Amsterdam at 12.15 p.m. (Amsterdam time) and was expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10 a.m. (2210 GMT) on Friday, the airline said.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Friday he was shocked by reports the Malaysia Airlines plane had gone down.
"I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation," Najib said on his Twitter feed.
Najib is heading for the operations center at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, according to his office.
In response to reports that the MH17 flight was shot down, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Friday on his tweet account that there was no confirmation.
"No confirmation it was shot down! Our military have been instructed 2 get on it," he wrote.