28 Australians Dead After Malaysia Airlines Flight Shot Down Over Ukraine

298 passengers are dead after the crash of flight MH17.

1. Updated: 11:55 p.m. AEST. Latest updates at the top.

Dmitry Lovetsky/ Associated Press

A Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 298 people has been shot down in Ukraine, near the Russian border. Twenty-eight Australians were on board flight MH17, which was on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Today’s BuzzFeedOz live coverage is over, continuing coverage here.

2. Malaysia Airlines says the passengers included 154 Netherlanders, 28 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians, six Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, and one Canadian.

All 15 crew members were Malaysian nationals.

American officials believe a surface-to-air missile hit the plane as it was travelling at about 33,000 feet over Ukraine, though it was unclear who fired the missile or where it came from, Associated Press reported.

3. Australian siblings Mo, 12, Evie, 10 and Otis Maslin, eight, are among the 298 victims.


4. Australia’s prime minister held a late afternoon press conference to turn up the heat on Russia over the MH17 investigation.

ABC News 24

Mr Abbott told the assembled media it was “deeply, deeply unsatisfactory” that the Russian ambassador had blamed Ukrainian forces for the conditions that lead to the plane crash.

He called for Russian authorities to allow Australian consular staff to get access to the crash site, saying: “Their whole standing in the world is at risk here.”

5. Earlier, foreign minister Julie Bishop called a meeting with Russian ambassador Vladimir Morozov in Sydney.

Britta Campion / AAP

It’s believed that Mr Morozov blamed Ukranian forces for the conditions that lead to the crash of Malaysian Flight MH17.

6. Malaysia Airlines has released a new media statement saying the B777-200 was “functioning normally” and had recorded 75,322 hours of service.

Malaysia Airlines

7. Foreign minister Julie Bishop has revised the number of Australians killed in the MH17 crash to 28. Ms Bishop told reporters she also fears the number will rise.

#BREAKING Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop says 28 Australians are now known to have died #MH17 crash and fears that number may rise.

— ABC News (@abcnews)

8. Prime minister Tony Abbott has announced a National Day of Mourning across Australia.

Statement from PM: Australian flag to be flown at half-mast tomorrow on all govenment buildings #MH17 #auspol

— Political Alert (@political_alert)

9. Up to 108 delegates and families heading to the AIDS2014 conference in Melbourne were reportedly were aboard Flight MH17.

Melbourne begins to mourn #MH17 #AIDS2014

— Guy Stayner (@GuyStayner)

10. UPDATE: 9.00 p.m. AEST. Names of the Australian victims are continuing to emerge.

Tomorrow's front page. For #MH17 updates: http://t.co/EkSijGbzJC

— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun)

Cannot believe it. One Brisbane family lost relatives in BOTH Malaysia Airlines tragedies #7newsQ #MH17

— Peter Doherty (@PeterDoherty7)

12. Another of the Australian victims has been confirmed as Sister Philomene Tiernan. The Catholic nun lived and worked at the exclusive Kincoppal girls school in Rose Bay in Sydney.


13. The University of New South Wales’ Kirby Institute has issued a statement regarding the death of former International AIDS Society president Joep Lange.


UNSW says Professor Lange was a close colleague and friend of Kirby Institute director Professor David A Cooper.

“Joep had an absolute commitment to HIV treatment and care in Asia and Africa,” Professor Cooper said.

Professor Lange and his wife Jacqueline were among the 298 people killed when Malaysia Flight MH17 crashed on Thursday.

14. “The joy in collaborating with Joep was that he would always bring a fresh view, a unique take on things, and he never accepted that something was impossible to achieve.”


(L-R) Professor David Cooper, Praphan Phanuphak, and Professor Joep Lange.

15. Chris Beyrer, the president-elect of the International AIDS Society, has told Australian reporters that he would not speculate on the number of conference delegates aboard Malaysian Flight MH17.

AAP / Joe Castro

The Australian reports that more than 100 AIDS researchers, scientists and health workers were on board the flight that crashed Thursday in Ukraine.

16. The names of Australians lost are starting to be released by family members.

27 year old Elaine Teoh a Melbourne University student is confirmed to have been on #MH17. @9NewsAUS

— Chris O'Keefe (@cokeefe9)

Sad news Perth man Nick Norris was on board #MH17 with his grandchildren. #PerthNews .http://t.co/F2XZReTvUY

— News Talk 6PR 882 (@6PR)

18. Queensland’s premier, Campbell Newman, fought back tears announcing nine of the victims of the plane disaster were from his state.

ABC News / Via vine.co

19. Prime minister Tony Abbott has addressed Australia’s parliament in the wake of #MH17.


21. Opposition leader Bill Shorten also addressed the parliament, promising to stand by the prime minister’s response, especially at the UN.

ABC News 24

Bill Shorten: This is a time for national unity and temperate responses #MH17 #auspol #abcnews24

— ABC News 24 (@ABCNews24)

23. Malaysia Airlines is yet to release the official manifest of #MH17 and is in the process of informing all next of kin.

We are in the process of notifying #MH17 next-of-kin. Once all have been notified, the passenger's manifest will be released.

— Malaysia Airlines (@MAS)

24. Melbourne’s Herald Sun has issued a special 7am edition of its Friday newspaper with this striking front cover.

Herald Sun

25. The Australian organisers of the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have released a statement to its website acknowledging earlier reports that several attendees were on flight MH17.


Friday, July 18, 2014

The International AIDS Society (IAS) today expresses its sincere sadness at receiving news that a number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today.

At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy.

26. It’s one of the worst Australian aviation disasters ever. Twenty-nine Aussies died in both the Trans-Australian Airline (1960) and Australian National Airways (1950) crashes.

27 Aussies dead on #MH17. Third worst crash in Australia's aviation history, worst since 1960 http://t.co/jWIzjrXVNW

— Simon Crerar (@simoncrerar)

27. Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has held a press conference in Brisbane. She’s called for Australian staff to get access to the site.

ABC News 24

She speculated that the reasons so many Australians died in the crash was due to it being a common connecting flight between Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur-Perth.

There’s also been confirmation many on board the flight were heading to a World AIDS Conference in Melbourne to start next week.

28. It’s not the only event involving Australians overseas this morning. Ms Bishop has confirmed that an Australian suicide bomber has been involved in an incident in Baghdad where at least three people have been killed.

Foreign Minster Julie Bishop: "We will continue to work tirelessly to keep Australians from getting radicalised and coming home"

— Mark Di Stefano (@MarkDiStef)

29. The comments came after Mr Abbott blamed the crash on the activities of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Australian PM Tony Abbott on #MH17 tragedy - "This is only happening because Russia wants to stir up trouble"

— BenFordham (@BenFordham)

30. Speaking to ABC Radio National, prime minister Tony Abbott said at least 23 Australians were onboard.

“It seems there were at least 23 Australians on this flight. Obviously the Department of Foreign Affairs is talking to Dutch authorities to confirm numbers and identities but it does seem there were definitely 23 Australians on this flight.

“We can assure families that, at the highest levels of government, we feel for them, we grieve with them and we pray for them. That’s the first thing we go. The second thing is to try to provide whatever practical assistance we can, in terms of counsel and the repatriations of remains and so on.

“This tragedy is made worse by reports it might be a crime rather than an accident. Let’s wait until we’ve got all the facts in … but obviously it is the clear and settled position of the Australian government that larger countries should not bully smaller ones, that countries should not aide people in rebelling against their own government and that disputes between nations should be settled peacefully and under international law.

“We just have all sorts of reports and claims flying around, that’s all we have at the moment.

“If it does turn out that this aircraft was brought down by a surface-to-air missile, this would be an unspeakable crime.”

31. According to Dutch officials, 27 Australians were on board.

@dfat Dutch officials have announced that 27 Australians were on board MH17. Our hearts go out to their families at this time.

— Christopher Pyne (@cpyne)

32. Australians worried about family members can call the Australian government’s travel advisory service.

Our Consular Emergency Centre is taking calls on the MH17 tragedy. Call +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or within Australia on 1300 555 135.

— Smartraveller (@Smartraveller)

33. The Australian ambassador to Russia says Aussies should contact family members.

Loss of MH17 over Ukraine is a tragedy. If you have concerns for welfare of family and friends, you should try and contact them directly.

— Paul Myler (@PosolAustralia)

34. Australian passports have been found in the wreckage.

UPDATE: It looks like there has been at least one Australian passport found in the wreckage. #9News

— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd)

35. The plane was shot down near the Russian border, according to a Facebook post by Ukrainian interior ministry official Anton Gerashchenko.

36. The news first broke via Malaysia Airlines.

Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow.

— Malaysia Airlines (@MAS)

37. Ukraine claims that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists.

This is the surface-to-air missile Ukraine says shot down Malaysia Airlines plane http://t.co/8zlp4cZutk

— Washington Post (@washingtonpost)

38. The UK Sun claims Russia is responsible.

THE SUN FRONT PAGE: "Putin's Missile" #skypapers

— Sky News (@SkyNews)

39. Ukrainian emergency service workers at the site of the crash in Grabavo.

Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev

40. Amateur video shot in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region purports to show the moment of impact from the MH17 crash.

41. Before departure in Amsterdam, Dutch MH17 passenger Cor Pan joked on Facebook: “If it disappears, this is what it looks like.”

42. International airlines are avoiding Ukrainian airspace.

This graphic shows just how many flights are avoiding Ukraine right now http://t.co/DRODE9x37X

— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed)

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Simon Crerar is founding editor of BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.
Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.