12:48PM – The rebels’ military commander, a Russian named Igor Strelkov, wrote on his VKontakte page shortly before the news broke of MH17’s crash that his his forces had brought down an Antonov An-26 – a large turboprop cargo plane- in the same area
Malaysian Airlines jet carrying 295 people crashed near the Ukraine-Russia border Thursday, Russian and Ukrainian media reported, citing aviation sources and officials.
An advisor to Ukraine’s interior minister said on his Facebook page that a plane carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members was shot down.
The Boeing 777 was on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it failed to confirm its entry into Russian airspace on schedule at 5:20 p.m. Moscow time, the Interfax news agency said.
The plane “disappeared from radar at 10,000 meters [33,000 feet] and then crashed near the city of Shakhtarsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, a source in the Ukrainian law enforcement authorities said,” Interfax-Ukraine reported.
The plane began losing altitude about 35 miles before entering Russian airspace and “fell down,” minutes later, setting off its emergency beacon, the news agency said.
More details to come.