Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is returning to the Netherlands from a summit in Brussels, Reuters reports. In a statement, he said he was “deeply shocked” by reports of the crashed plane, which took off from the Dutch capital Amsterdam, but added “much is still unclear about the facts, circumstances and the passengers”. Meanwhile, AP reports that the plane appeared to have broken up before impact, with the wreck scattered over a wide area in the village of Grabovo.
According to BBC, a Facebook page affiliated to Ukraine’s pro-European EuroMaidan movement has posted images of Ukrainians offering condolences at the Malaysian embassy in Kiev, with one lady carrying a placard with the slogan: “Putin is a murderer”, our colleagues at BBC Monitoring report. The number of dead from crash of #MH17 more than 300, includes 23 U.S. citizens, according to Interior Ministry adviser, quoted by Interfax.
However, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman tells reporters they have no information on the cause of the crash or of casualties. She said she could not confirm if there were any US citizens on board or not. But US State Department is working to determine if there were any U.S. citizens on board Flight MH17 The route taken by flight MH17 was a well-flown route between Europe and Asia, a pilot tells BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott. He said that any troops should have known the path was full of civilian aircraft.
Independent Malaysian news portal Malaysiakini says new transport minister Liow Tiong-lai is on his way back to Kuala Lumpur to handle the MH17 incident. He was visiting Beijing where his itinerary included discussion of the search of the missing flight MH370 with China. (BBC)