At the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, the bodies of 121 people have been found, officials with the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said.
In total, on board the aircraft Boeing 777-200, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, there were 298 people, including 15 crew members. All the people were killed in the crash. In Kiev, officials claim that the rescue operation is "complicated by the presence of armed separatists," Interfax reports.
The plane disappeared from radar screens at 4:20 p.m. MSK. At 5:15, the burning debris of the plane were found in open countryside between the villages of Rassypnoe and Grabovoe. By 5:40, the fire had been extinguished, and the search for the bodies of the victims began.
Official spokespeople for the Russian Defense Ministry said that the complexes of the Russian air defense system were not operating on July 17. The fighter jets of the Russian Air Force were not flying in the territory of the disaster either.
An official representative for Malaysia Airlines said that most of the passengers on board the crashed aircraft were Dutch nationals. There were 154 nationals of the Netherlands, 27 Australian, 23 Malaysian, eleven Indonesian, six British, four German, four Belgian, three Philippine and one Canadian citizens on board.
One of the victims is the press secretary of the World Health Organization, Glenn Thomas. There were other staffers of the WHO on board, who were en route to Australia's Melbourne for an AIDS conference.