Two final Queensland victims of MH17 revealed

THE remaining two Queensland victims of MH17 have been confirmed as Wayne and Theresa Baker.

The couple, aged 55 and 53 respectively, lived in Darwin but used Mrs Baker's parents' home in Buddina on the Sunshine Coast as a base.

They were parents to two sons, aged in their 20s, Fairfax reports.

Mrs Baker's parents, Robert and Angela Turnbull, told Fairfax Media they were heartbroken by their loss and were still in shock.

"Theresa had just retired and they'd travelled around Europe for six weeks," Mrs Turnbull said.

"They were looking forward to stopping over in Kuala Lumpur for two days before coming home."

Government officials say there were seven Queenslanders on board the flight, revised down from the nine originally said to be on MH17.


Footage from cabin of MH17 released on Instagram

FOOTAGE from the cabin of the MH17 has emerged on Instagram.

The video is only 14 seconds long but shows people as they stow their luggage in preparation for takeoff.

Malaysian passenger Md. Ali Md Salim reportedly posted the video along with the caption: "In the name of God... feeling a little bit nervous".

Premier Newman: Nine Queenslanders on MH17

QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman believes nine Queenslanders were among the 298 souls on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Mr Newman told reporters he is "shocked and appalled" by the tragedy.

"I, like all Queenslanders, have been listening to the radio and watching the TV and the vision and the very disturbing transcripts of conversations of people who may very well have been involved in the shooting down of this aircraft, if that's what's occurred, it's chilling and it's hard not to be incredibly emotional," he said.

Mr Newman said the impact of the tragedy would be far-reaching.

"Communities right across Queensland are likely to be affected, impacted by this tragedy," he said.

"My thoughts and prayers are with all Queenslanders who have been touched by this tragedy."

If concerned for friends or family, contact Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1300 555 135

Mr Newman said beyond the support offered by the Queensland Government, including the offer of counselling through Lifeline's 13 11 14 number, the Premier said it was a time for the state to help one another.

"Noone should grieve alone at this time," he said.

"Everyone should be coming together to support people who have been impacted."

The Victorian Government has confirmed it too has lost nine citizens aboard MH17.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier today confirmed reports that at least 28 Australians were on board MH17 travelled from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was struck and destroyed by a surface-to-air missile fired from near the Ukraine-Russia border.

On the other side of the world, the White House has released a statement calling for an immediate ceasefire between Russia, Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists. to ensure there is a "full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation".

Click text image below to enlarge:

 

Is this the missile launcher that killed 27 Australians?

THIS video shows the type of Russian Surface-To-Air missile launcher Ukraine authorities believe brought down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, killing 298 people on board including at least 27 Australians.

The death toll includes three infants.

The standard Buk battalion can be set up to fire within five minutes, taking an estimated 22 seconds to lock-on a target before firing.

It was developed initially by the USSR then by the subsequent Russian Federation.

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Although there is no confirmation yet of what group fired the missile, Pro-Russian separatists in the Ukraine are considered the most likely suspects.

By extension, there are concerns that these separatists may have acquired the military hardware from Russia.

 

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak via a Kremlin website.


"Vladimir Putin expressed his deep condolences to Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak in connection with the crash of a Malaysian airlines passenger plane over the Ukrainian territory, which led to numerous casualties.

"The President of Russia asked the Prime Minister of Malaysia to convey his deepest sympathy and support to the victims' families."
 

 

MH17 death toll increased to include 3 babies

THE death toll for Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 brought down near the Ukraine-Russia border has been increased with the airline admitting it did not count three infants.

That now brings the total death toll to 298, including at least 27 Australians. 

There remains 41 passengers on board the flight whose nationality is still unknown.

If concerned for friends or family, contact Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1300 555 135

In a statement, Malaysian Airlines confirmed all its European flights would now avoid the "usual route" where MH17 was struck by a surface-to-air missile overnight.

According to the statement, the airline is now attempting to contact the next-of-kin for the passengers and crew killed in the crash.

"Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support to provide all possible care to the next-of-kin.

"Malaysia Airlines is deploying its 'Go Team' to Amsterdam  with a group of caregivers and volunteers to assist the family members of the passengers.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members."

According to Malaysian Airlines, at least nine countries have lost nationals in the crash

  • Netherlands: 154
  • Malaysia: 43 (including 15 crew and two infants)
  • Australia: 27
  • Indonesia: 12 (including one infant)
  • United Kingdom: 9
  • Germany: 4
  • Belgium: 4
  • Philippines: 3
  • Canada: 1
  • Unknown: 41
  • TOTAL: 298

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International AIDS Society statement on delegates killed on MH17

The International AIDS Society (IAS) today expresses its sincere sadness at receiving news that a number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today.

At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy.
 

Government confirms 27 Australians dead in MH17 tragedy

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed international reports that 27 Australians have died in Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 which crashed in rebel-held Ukraine overnight.

Ms Bishop said the Australian Government has so far been in contact with the Dutch foreign Minister.

She said the two countries "shared the anguish and pain" of losing so many citizens in the tragedy.

The Netherlands has lost at least 154 nationals in the crash.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is now seeking to speak to Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Ms Bishop said she would also attempt to reach the Malaysian Government not just because it was the second Malaysian aircraft lost in six months, but also because of the number of Malaysian citizens on board.

She said if Pro-Russian rebels in the Ukraine have now secured the aircraft's black box, she urged them to cooperate with the independent, international investigation expected by the Australian Government.

Ms Bishop said as of 9am, about 170 calls have been made to the Department of Foreign Affairs emergency hotline.

US Vice President: MH17 'blown out of the sky'

UNITED States Vice President Joe Biden has told how he understands that Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was "apparently blown out of the sky" before saying the US would "take the next step" as more information emerges

Mr Biden said he was choosing his words wisely but said it appeared the passenger jet carrying 295, including more than 20 Australians was "shot down" and it was "not an accident".

"This is truly a grave situation," Mr Biden said.

"Nearly 300 souls have been lost.

"The families need consolations and our prayers.

"Many questions need to be answered.

"We'll get those answers and we'll take the next steps accordingly."

It follows a press conference earlier today from President Barack Obama earlier today.

Mr Obama said the US would offer any assistance it can to the Ukraine, where the plane was brought down.

 


 

Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region
Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

SENATE takes minute of silence for MH17 victims

SENATORS have stood in silence in tribute to the hundreds killed, including Australians, in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

Government Senator Eric Abetz gave the first tribute, followed by Opposition Senator Penny Wong -- each offering condolences and thoughts and prayers to friends and families of those who have perished.

If concerned for friends or family, contact Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1300 555 135

Greens Senator Christine Milne said she understood some aboard the flight were Australia-bound to attend the International AIDS conference being held in Melbourne this weekend.

"These tragedies have ramifications that go through the whole of society," Senator Milne said.

"I understand from the most recent reports that it is understood that at least one and maybe more experts coming to Australia for the International AIDS conference were on board the flight.

"That means the ramifications go to all the people who are at that conference this weekend and no doubt as more details emerge, this tragedy will touch many many Australians.

"We join with everyone in the senate and the Australian parliament in sending our love and support to everybody affected."

Senators then stood for a silent moment for those affected.

 

A still from raw footage believed to show the moment MH17 crashed near the Ukraine-Russia border
A still from raw footage believed to show the moment MH17 crashed near the Ukraine-Russia border

 

Pyne: Someone must be held responsible for these 'heinous crimes'

SENIOR government minister Christopher Pyne has told national media, "someone will need to be responsible for this heinous crime" in interviews regarding the loss of between 23 and 27 Australians aboard downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

"There is no doubt the plane was shot out of the sky and there is no doubt the Russian separatists have been encouraged by other people in that part of the world to believe they should be seeking independence from Kiev," Mr Pyne said.

If concerned for friends or family, contact Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1300 555 135

Pro-Russian separatists are currently considered the ones most likely to have fired a surface-to-air missile at the passenger jet.

>>Why was MH17 flying over Ukranian war zone?
>>Pro-Russian leader boasted about downing plane

>>International fallout from MH17 attack could be huge
>>How does MH17 crash compare to other disasters?

There remains some discrepancy around how many Australians have perished in the horrifying plane crash.

Dutch authorities are reporting 27 Australians were on board while Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said his information suggests "at least 23" Australian passengers.

There are no survivors from the crash.


The Education Minister told Channel Nine's Today show that it was a "shocking, shocking thing to happen" - the worst nightmare of international travellers.

He said MH17 was travelling a route that is popular with Australians.

"It's one of those flights from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur of course that is heading in Australia's direction and it would not be unlikely therefore for Australians to potentially be connecting with a flight home and even to Bali," he said.

"I think there's also footage of Bali travel books,"

Mr Pyne said the government would now work with Ukrainian, Dutch and United States authorities.

"It's quite clear this is a very dangerous part of the world," he said.

"Quite clearly this tragedy, this shocking tragedy, may well be the catalyst that causes the protagonists in the debate around the Ukraine to settle their differences rather than exacerbate them."


Abbott: 'Unspeakable crime' if MH17 shot down

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has responded to accusations that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 may have been brought down by a surface-to-air missile fired by Russian separatists as part of an ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict as "an unspeakable crime" if true.

If concerned for friends or family, contact Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1300 555 135

"The point I make is that if this plane has been brought down by a surface to air missile, that is an unspeakable crime," Prime Minister Abbott said.

"The perpetrators must be brought to justice."

Mr Abbott confirmed there were at least 23 Australians dead, although Dutch authorities believe the figure is 27.

The Prime Minister has said it would lend any support necessary to both the Ukraine government and families.

 

Malaysian PM: MH17 pilots sent no distress call

MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Najib Razak has told how the pilots of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 were not able to make a distress call as it was struck by a surface-to-air missile believed to be fired by Pro-Russian forces in Ukraine.

The flight left Amsterdam after lunch, 12.15pm local time, due to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10am Malaysian time.

Mr Razak said the flight route had been declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

International aviation authorities have also confirmed the MH17 did not cross restricted areas, according to the Prime Minister.

It has been a horror year for Malaysian Airlines, as it came under international scrutiny following the
disappearance of flight MH370 and the deaths of 239 on board, including seven Australians.

Mr Razak said he has been told by Ukranian authorities that the plane was shot down.

"The Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down," he said.

"At this early stage, however, Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of this tragedy. 

"But we must - and we will - find out precisely what happened to this flight.

"No stone can be left unturned.

"If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice."

Mr Razak said he has already spoken to United States president Barack Obama.

"This is a tragic day, in what has already been a tragic year, for Malaysia," Mr Razak said.

"As we work to understand what happened, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those on-board the flight.

"I cannot imagine what they must be going through at this painful time.

"The flight's passengers and crew came from many different countries.

"But today, regardless of nationality, we are all united in grief."

 

27 Australians confirmed dead in Malaysia Airlines disaster

DUTCH authorities have confirmed that 27 Australians were among the 295 on board the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 which crashed overnight.

In a breakdown of nationalities on board the flight, Australians made up the second largest group behind travellers from the Netherlands.

Anyone with concerns about friends or family, contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1300 555 135

There are still a number of passengers lost in the crash who are yet to have their nationalities confirmed, so the death toll for Australians could still increase.

Of the 295 on board, including crew:

154 were from the Netherlands

27 were from Australia

23 from Malaysia. The crew of 15 was also Malaysian


DFAT: 'Grave concerns' for Australians on board MH17

AUSTRALIA'S Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has described how it has "grave concerns" that Australians may be among those killed when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed near the Ukraine-Russia border overnight.

At least one international news outlet has published what appears to be a passenger manifest, suggesting there were 27 Australians aboard MH17. 

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is expected to make a statement on the tragedy this morning.

DFAT statement:

Initial reports indicate there were 295 people on board and there are no survivors of the crash.

We have grave concerns that a number of Australians may have been on board the flight.

Officials are working to seek confirmation with relevant authorities.

If you have any concerns for the welfare of Australian family or friends, phone 1300 555 135.

The statement follows images from the scene showing an Australian passport.

 

Obama pledges support following MH17 crash

US President Barack Obama has vowed to find out how many Americans were on board downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which crashed near the Ukraine-Russian border overnight.

Speaking in Delaware, the President said the next priority would be for the US to offer whatever assistance it could.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 brought down over Ukraine, killing an estimated 295 on board

Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region
Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

Nine Britons, 23 US citizens and 80 children are reported to be among those killed when a passenger jet crashed over the eastern Ukraine border amid claim and counter-claim that it was shot down.

Pictures and video emerging from the scene show bodies strewn around the site of the crash amid the charred and burning wreckage of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which fell down near the town of Grabovo, about 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

The Malaysian national carrier said that the British passport holders were travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on board the Boeing 777. The aircraft is believed to have had 295 people on board - 280 passengers and 15 crew.

A spokesman from The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was working to identify any British victims of the tragedy. "We are aware of the reports and are urgently working to establish what has happened," he said.

The Ukrainian Interior Minister is reported to have said that 23 US citizens and 80 children were also on board, according to various agencies reporting from the scene.

Ukrainian rebels, who are backed by Russia, and the Ukraine government have accused the other of carrying out the ground-to-air strike, with both issuing firm denials of any involvement in the disaster.

A man works at putting out a fire at the site of the plane crash
A man works at putting out a fire at the site of the plane crash

 

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko rejected claims by Ukraine rebels that Kiev was responsible and said his country's armed forces did not shoot at any airborne targets.

"We do not exclude that this plane was shot down, and we stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets," he said. "We are sure that those who are guilty in this tragedy will be held responsible."

According to the Telegraph, an official statement from the Ukraine government blamed Russian air defence systems it claimed are protecting "terrorists" in the area.

It said: "A large passenger aircraft Boeing 777, performing a flight between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur, was shot down in the eastern part of Ukraine. According to the General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces, the airplane was shot down by the Russian Buk missile system as the liner was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters.
 


"Ukraine has no long-range air defence missile systems in this area.

"The plane was shot down, because the Russian air defence systems was affording protection to Russian mercenaries and terrorists in this area.

"Ukraine will present the evidence of Russian military involvement into the Boeing crash.

"The leader of the terrorists Igor Girkin (Strelkov) immediately commented on the airplane catastrophe, believing that it was the Ukrainian jet that crashed down: 'In Torez An-26 was shot down, its crashes are lying somewhere near the coal mine "Progress". We have warned everyone: do not fly in our skies.'"

Anton Gerashenko, an aide to the Ukrainian Interior Minister, wrote on his Facebook page that the Boeing airliner, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was at an altitude of 33,000ft when it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher and crashed near the city of Donetsk - a stronghold of pro-Russian rebels.

Earlier, Aleksandr Boroday, Prime Minister of Donetsk People's Republic, denied the jet had been shot down by the rebels, who are backed by Russia, and called the incident a "provocation by the Ukrainian military".

"We confirm that the plane crashed not far from Donetsk," Boroday said. "Representatives of Donetsk People's Republic have headed to the scene of the plane search."

"Self-defence forces have no air-defence, which could target transport aircraft at that height," he told Interfax.

In separate reports by Interfax, an unidentified pro-Russian separatists said they have found the jet's black box flight recorder.

Russia's military has also said that none of its military planes have been flying close to the Russia-Ukraine border on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported citing a military official.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 takes off from Schiphol airport near Amsterdam
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 takes off from Schiphol airport near Amsterdam

The US senator John McCain has warned that there will be "hell to pay" if the Russia military or Ukrainian separatists are deemed to have had any involvement in the 'incident'.

"If the Malaysian plane was shot down, this is obviously a game changer and has horrific consequences," he warned.

"It has the earmarks of a tragic mistake made by someone who had the capability to just shoot down an aircraft, and we know at least from the last couple of weeks that that could be Russian or separatist Russian capability."

"But if it is the result of either separatist or Russian actions mistakenly believing this was a Ukrainian war plane, I think there's going to be hell to pay and there should be," he said in an interview on MSNBC, citing previous reports of separatists shooting down Ukrainian fighter planes.

The aircraft departed from Amsterdam at 12.14am local time, 15 minutes later than scheduled, according to flight records.

It was expected to arrive in Malaysia at 6:10am local time, but did not enter Russian airspace when it was expected to, a Russian aviation source told Reuters.

The Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has ordered an investigation into what he has called an "airplane catastrophe", his spokeswoman Olga Lappo said on Thursday.

His comments were followed by a tweet by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who said he was "shocked" by reports of a plane crash, and that an investigation was being launched into the incident immediately.

"We are keeping those services under review, but Kiev is several hundred kilometres from the incident site."

 

 

 

 

As pictures emerged showing loved one of those on board the flight gathering at both Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Sepang, and Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands Prime Minister Marke Rutte said he was "deeply shocked" by the crash, NL Times reported.

"I am deeply  shocked by the tragic news about the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur via Ukrainian territory," he said.

"Very much is still unclear about the facts, the circumstances and the passengers."

Malaysia Airlines posted a tweet on its official account confirming it had "lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam".

"The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow."


Virgin Airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways have confirmed that they are diverting most of their flights away from Ukrianian airspace.

A spokesman from BA said: "The safety and security of our customers is always our top priority. Our flights are not using Ukrainian airspace, with the exception of our once a day service between Heathrow and Kiev.

Malaysia Airlines media statement:

Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Flight MH17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard.


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