There were 298 travellers including 27 Australians on board the Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed in the disputed expanse of eastern Ukraine.
At least three on board were infants.
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is dispatching a team to the Ukraine capital of Kiev.
As Australia woke to the news, waves of shock and horror crashed across the world.
See how the tragedy was reported through newspaper front pages:
Guardian front page, Friday 18 July 2014: Murder in the sky: missile destroys jet and kills 295 pic.twitter.com/zWLqc6Mru0— The Guardian (@guardian) July 17, 2014
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