by Kolapo Olapoju
A Malaysian passenger plane carrying 295 passengers on board has just crashed somewhere near the Russian border, in Ukraine.
The Boeing Malaysian Airlines which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur began to descend about 50km before entering Russian airspace, and was subsequently found burning on the ground in Ukraine.
However, Interfax news agency reports that the airliner was shot down by a surface-to-air missile called BUK.
The BUK is a self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems in the Soviet era and designed to engage cruise missiles, smart bombs, aircraft and and unmanned aerial vehicles. Modern versions can reach up to 80,000 feet.
Meanwhile, the President of the United States, Barack Obama has reacted to the crash which, according to unconfirmed reports, had twenty four Americans on-board.
Obama said, “The world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border”
“It looks like might be a terrible tragedy,” he said.
He added that his country’s first priority is to confirm if Americans were onboard the crashed airplane. “That is our first priority,” he said.
“The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened, and why,” he said.
Watch video from the scene of the crash.