Malaysia Airlines said on its Twitter account that it had lost contact with an aircraft, Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. A Reuters correspondent in eastern Ukraine reported seeing the burning wreckage of a plane and bodies on the ground.
A report by the Russian news agency Interfax said that the crash Thursday was in eastern Ukraine, which is been among the most volatile regions in the world. Pro-Russian separatists have been fighting Ukrainian security forces there for months.
In the chaotic early hours after the plane went down, the separatists and the Ukrainian government each said the other had shot it down.
A Ukrainian interior ministry official said that pro-Russian separatists had downed the plane, and a leader of the separatists, Aleksander Borodai, said that it was the Ukrainian air force.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's recently elected president, Petro Poroshenko, said: "We do not exclude that this plane was shot down, and we stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets."
More than four months ago, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, disappeared during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
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