Pro-Russian Rebels Allow Access to Malaysian Crash Site

Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have said they will allow investigators access to the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 which crashed yesterday. The airline lost contact with Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at 14:15 GMT on Thursday.  All of the 295 passengers and crew on board were killed. Malaysia Airlines said flight MH17 was carrying at least 154 Dutch nationals, 27 Australians, 43 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians and nine Britons.  Other passengers came from Germany, Belgium, Canada Germany and the Philippines, but the nationality of some transit passengers has yet to be confirmed.

It is widely believed that the airliner was shot down but this has yet to be confirmed.  The Ukrainian Government and pro-Russian rebels who are fighting in the area where the crash took place are blaming each other for bringing the Malaysian airliner down.

The airline held a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Friday morning in which Malaysia’s Transport Minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said it would be: “an outrage against human decency if the Malaysian airliner downed over Ukraine was found to have been shot down.

“Should this be confirmed, it will contravene international law and be an outrage against human decency.” He added that it was crucial that the integrity of the crash site was preserved in respect of the investigation into what caused the crash.

Malaysia Airlines has sent a team of representatives to help grieving relatives in Amsterdam.