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Ukraine Official: 'Downed Malaysian Flight Hit by Missile.'

Ukraine Official: 'Downed Malaysian Flight Hit by Missile.'

By NBC26 Staff. CREATED Jul 17, 2014 - UPDATED: Jul 17, 2014

UGRABOVO, Ukraine (AP) -- Malaysia Airlines says the plane that went down in eastern Ukraine was a Boeing 777 with 280 passengers and 15 crew members aboard.

Flight 17 had taken off from Amsterdam, bound for Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, when the airline received notification from Ukrainian aviation authorities that contact had been lost about 30 miles from the Russia-Ukraine border.

An adviser to Ukraine's interior minister said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of about 33,000 feet. He said it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, which can fire missiles up to an altitude of 22,000 meters, or 72,000 feet.

The Boeing 777-200ER was delivered to Malaysia Airlines on July 30, 1997, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets, which sells and tracks information about aircraft. It has more than 43,000 hours of flight time and 6,950 takeoffs and landings.

It was the second Malaysia Airlines jetliner to be lost in less than six months. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It has not been found. The search has been concentrated in the Indian Ocean far west of Australia.


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