Russian and Ukrainian forces are both strongly denying any involvement in the downing of a civilian plane carrying almost 300 passengers on Thursday.
The Malaysian airline flight which was headed for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam’s Schipol airport was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members when the plane was reportedly shot down while in Ukrainian airspace.
Witnesses told news agencies of gruesome scenes of bodies and body parts strewn around the wreckage in the final resting place of aircraft in the eastern region of Ukraine close to the Russia/Ukraine border, where fighting has been taking place between Ukrainian forces and Pro Russia Separatist forces.
Most of the passengers are thought to be Dutch and many were world-renowned AIDS/HIV research scientists who were heading to a convention before disaster struck.
Russian Prime Minister Petro Poroshenko has denied Ukrainian forces involvement in the incident calling it, ‘an act of terrorism’- a subtle indication that the Ukrainians blame pro Russia separatist fighters who have been accused of downing Ukrainian military jets along the border previously.
A spokesman for Russian President Vladmir Putin has however denied the allegations, calling them absurd.
Ukrainian officials including Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk confirmed that the flight, reported missing by the airline was the same one seen burning on the ground by witnesses adding that it was brought down by a ground to air missile.
It is still not clear what exactly happened to the plane which was flying at about 33, 000 ft above sea level, a height thought to be safe as most ground to air missiles cannot reach that far.
The US has stated that it is closely monitoring the situation and UK Prime Minister David Cameron is also holding a COBRA meeting this morning to ascertain how many British casualties were on board the flight (thought to be 9 at the moment) and draft out support measures for the families of the deceased.
World Airlines including British airways and Lufthansa have now vowed to avoid the conflicted Ukrainian airspace for fear of a similar attack.
MH17 is the latest disaster to hit the troubled Malaysian Airline whose flight MH370 is still unaccounted for after it vanished off the radar shortly after taking in off from Kuala Lumpur en route Beijing on the 8th of March.
Families of the current disaster are thought to be on their way to the site of the crash to pay their last respects.