Update: The United States has reached the conclusion that Malaysia Flight 17 was in fact brought down by a missile, according to CNN. President Obama reportedly learned of the crash while on a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and made a statement that the United States was launching an investigation to determine whether or not there were any Americans on board, CNN reported.
The Boeing 777, cruising at an altitude of approximately 33,000 feet, elicited the following statement from President Obama, “It looks like it might be a terrible tragedy. This is our first priority. The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened, and when,” according to The Hill.
Numerous media and news outlets are reporting that a Malaysia Airlines flight traveling from Amsterdam to Malaysia has crashed in eastern Ukraine, near their border with Russia. Malaysia Airlines confirmed earlier today that they lost contact with Flight 17 while it was flying over Ukrainian airspace, according to CNN. The Boeing 777 jet was possibly carrying up to 280 passengers as well as 15 crew members, CNN reported. At this hour, multiple media outlets are reporting that the plane was shot down while on a “common” route between Kuala Lumpur and the Netherlands, CNN reported. An official in the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said on Facebook that the plane was struck by a missile from a surface-to-air system, according to The Daily Beast.
This marks the second time this year that Malaysia Airlines has faced a tragedy pertaining to one of its flights, as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on March 8th, according to CNN. Flight 370 had 239 passengers on board, and according to all credible intelligence most likely flew into the southern Indian Ocean on autopilot with an unresponsive crew, CNN reported.