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Investigation into airliner crash pending, answer awaited

English.news.cn   2014-07-18 19:14:31

MOSCOW/KIEV, July 18 (Xinhua) -- As international investigation into the crash of the unlucky Malaysian airliner MH17 is pending, the entire world is awaiting an answer to the questions of what actually brought down the passenger jet and who are responsible for the tragedy.

A Malaysian airliner with 298 people on board crashed Thursday in eastern Ukraine, with no survivors found so far, making one of the worst tragedies in the history of civil aviation.

The victims of Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, included 173 Dutch nationals, 27 Australians and 44 Malaysians, according to the Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

After leaving the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam at 12:15 p.m. local time (1015 GMT), the plane, a Boeing 777-200ER, with 283 passengers on board including three infants, and 15 crew members, was supposed to land at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia at 6:10 a.m. local time (2210 GMT) the following day. However, it crashed in a cornfield in the village of Grabove in eastern Ukraine.

The cause of the crash has yet to be determined, but Kiev and the militia in eastern Ukraine have traded accusations over the responsibility.

Russian President Vladimir Putin late Thursday blamed Ukraine for the tragedy. "There's no doubt the responsibility for that terrible tragedy lays on a state over which territory that has happened," Putin said.

He said the tragedy could have been avoided should Ukraine's eastern regions be in peace.

Putin ordered the government and the military to do all possible for thorough investigation into the crash. He said the findings must be revealed to the world.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian authorities suspected the eastern separatist shot down the Malaysian plane.

Amidst speculations and accusations, world leaders all demand answers and immediate investigation.

U.S. President Obama urged an "unimpeded" international probe of the disaster.

Moreover, White House warned Thursday that evidence of the crash must not be moved from the country until a "thorough and transparent" investigation has taken place, the AP reported.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday expressed deep condolences over the crash and called for a "full and transparent international investigation" into it.

"There is clearly a need for a full and transparent international investigation," he said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Spokesman also said China is "shocked" by the MH17 crash and sent the condolences of Chinese people to the victims and their families.

The air disputes in this area between Ukraine government and the militia has aggravated rapidly in recent days.

The crash came on the same day the militia claimed they had shot down two Ukrainian warplanes, an An-26 transport jet and a SU-25 fighter, which Kiev laid the blame on Russia.

Sad family members of the unfortunate flight passengers rushed into Amsterdam's Schiphol airport in the desperate hope for more information.

The Dutch national flag was lowered to half-mast inside the country and embassies around the world.

Jos Nijhuis, president and CEO of the Schiphol Airport Group, said: "We sympathize with the families who have been affected. We will do everything in our power to accommodate and support them as well as possible and support."

Dutch King Willem-Alexander has issued a statement in response to the crash.

"I am deeply saddened by the terrible news about the crash of Flight MH17 over Ukrainian territory," he said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on his Twitter feed, "I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation."

Several countries announced that they had ordered their civil airplanes to avoid eastern Ukraine airspace.

The crash also brought down the main stock markets of the world.

Malaysia Airlines lost 17.8 percent in early exchanges on the Kuala Lumpur stock market, while other airline companies in this area also suffered.

Moreover, all major Asian markets tumbled on Friday.

Tokyo dropped 1.40 percent, Hong Kong 1.09 percent, Sydney 0.17 percent, Shanghai 0.37 percent and Seoul eased 0.45 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow lost 91.77 points, or 0.54 percent. The S&P 500 dipped 15.62 points, or 0.79 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 45.44 points, or 1.03 percent.

Editor: Xiang Bo
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