[Updated: 10.35 a.m. EDT, Friday, July 18]
On Friday morning, the UN Security Council demanded a “full, thorough and independent international investigation” into the apparent shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine on July 17 while it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The statement was only approved by the 15 Security Council states after Russia had initially demanded more time to study the proposal.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told a news conferences that accident investigators from the Netherlands will travel to the crash site later on Friday. A delegation from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe arrived at the crash site on Friday afternoon local time. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board told BBC News that it will be sending an investigator to Ukraine.
Late Thursday night, Ukrainian authorities fully closed airspace in the Dnipropetrovsk flight information region (FIR) where Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was apparently shot down by an air defense missile earlier that day. Eurocontrol, which is now blocking all file plans filed for routes in this part of eastern Ukraine, confirmed that the Malaysian Boeing 777 was flying at just 1,000 feet above an existing exclusion zone extending up to 32,000 feet when it lost contact with air traffic controllers.
Multiple airlines announced plans to re-route flights within hours of the crash. Later on July 17, the FAA issued a Notam prohibiting operations by U.S.-registered aircraft in the airspace until further notice. The restricted area specified by FAA includes the entire Simferopol and Dnipropetrovsk FIRs. The Notam expands an earlier prohibition of U.S. flight operations issued by the FAA in April, covering the Crimean region of Ukraine and adjacent areas in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. This instruction mirrored Notams issued by other civil aviation authorities including the UK.
Eurocontrol activated its European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell to coordinate the response to the impact of the airspace closure.
The Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists have accused each other of shooting down flight MH17. On June 29 separatists claimed to have captured an SA-11 air defense systems from the Ukrainians. Separatist leader Igor Strelkov claimed on Twitter to have shot down a Ukrainian military transport aircraft, before deleting the claim soon after it was confirmed that the Malaysian airliner had crashed.
Inmarsat said that it has released satellite data to authorities investigating the crash.
The UN Security Council has issued a
The UN Security Council has issued a statement calling for a “full, thorough and independent international investigation” into the plane crash, and “appropriate accountability”.
statement calling for a “full, thorough and independent international investigation” into the plane crash, and “appropriate accountability”.