People across Malaysia held a minute's silence and wore black on Friday as the Southeast Asian country observed a day of mourning to mark the return of the first 20 bodies among its citizens killed when a jetliner was downed last month. Malaysian Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 crashed after apparently being struck by a missile over war-torn Ukraine on July 17, worsening a year of tragedy for the country following the baffling disappearance of another MAS flight in March.
Two planes carrying remains of dozens of victims from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 landed in Eindhoven airbase in the Netherlands on Wednesday, even as international monitors remained critical that more wasn't being done to find all the remains at the Ukraine crash site.
The United States on Friday ramped up its suspicions that pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine felled a Malaysian jetliner, asserting there was “credible evidence” that a Russian-built antiaircraft system in a rebel-held location had fired the missle that destroyed it, killing all 298 people aboard and scattering the wreckage over miles of rolling farmland.
Malaysia Air said it "lost contact" with one of its passenger planes today over Ukraine near the border with Russia. The airline said in a tweet that the plane, Flight MH17 from Amsterdam, had its "last known position was over Ukraine airspace."
A commercial plane carrying 295 people was shot down between the Ukranian and Russian border Thursday and the president of Ukraine has denied responsibility, according to officials quoted by the Associated Press. “Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets,” Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko said.
The search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner resumed on Saturday, five weeks after the plane disappeared from radar screens, amid fears that batteries powering signals from the black box recorder on board may have died. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned on Friday that signals picked up during the search in the remote southern Indian Ocean, believed to be "pings" from the black box recorders, were fading.
Four weeks after the Malaysia Airlines jet vanished, two ships deployed sound locators Friday in the southern Indian Ocean in a desperate attempt to find the plane's flight recorders before their signal beacons fall silent. Officials leading the multinational search for Flight 370 said there was no specific information that led to the underwater devices being used for the first time, but that they were brought into the effort because there was nothing to lose.
New satellite images have revealed more than 100 objects in the southern Indian Ocean that could be debris from a Malaysian jetliner missing for 18 days, while planes scouring the frigid seas on Wednesday also reported seeing potential wreckage. The latest sightings came as searchers stepped up efforts to find some trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, thought to have crashed on March 8 with the loss of all 239 people aboard after flying thousands of miles off course.