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Latest developments in MH17 disaster

AS the investigation into the air tragedy yesterday in Ukraine continues, here are the biggest developments in the story:

  • The US is sending expert FBI investigators to the scene of the accident


  • Malaysia Airlines says nationalities of two passengers still unknown


  • Ukrainian defence spokesman has said MH17 was out of range of Ukrainian anti-aircraft systems and no missiles deployed during anti-terrorist operations


  • The shooting down of the airliner may be a war crime under the Geneva Convention, according to experts


  • Ukraine's interior ministry says it has intelligence that the plane's black boxes will be passed to the Russian Federal Security Service.


  • The Malaysian Transport Minister has said the plane was on an internationally approved flight path.


  • No distress signal was sent from the plane.


  • The US government has confirmed that that the plane was shot down. Earlier suggestions had speculated that there may have been a bomb in the luggage hold or some catastrophic system failure which could have led to the crash – however these alternatives have now been ruled out.


  • The United States has officially warned pro-Russian separatists not to interfere with evidence at the crash site. President Obama has demanded a ‘full and credible’ investigation into the incident. There are still fears pro-Russian separatists could hand over the black box to Russia – however overnight the separatists agreed to facilitate safe passage for international investigators to the site.


  • More than 100 of the world’s leading AIDS experts are believed to have been among the victims of the crash. They were travelling to attend a conference on the virus in Australia.


  • The Australian government has revealed it has lost at least 27 citizens in the disaster, with a government spokesperson saying the incident was ‘less like an accident than a crime’ – the country has summoned the Russian ambassador.


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  • An emergency session of the United Nations Security Council will take place later today. Western powers are expected to use the meeting to demand Russia fully co-operate with the international investigation into the downing of the plane.


  • 41 victims nationalities are yet to be confirmed, however it is not believed any Irish people were on the plane.


The death toll by country currently stands:

Netherlands 154

Malaysia 43

Australia 27

Indonesia 12

UK 9

Germany 4

Belgium 4

Philippines 3

Canada 1

New Zealand 1

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