UPDATE: 28 Australians confirmed to have been on board MH17.
Just four months after MH370 disappeared, Malaysia airlines has suffered yet another unthinkable airline disaster.
A Malaysian Airlines plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has been shot down in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, claiming the lives of 280 passengers and 15 crew.
The crash site was located 40 kilometres from the Russian border in the rebel-held village of Grabvo in Eastern Ukraine.
Pro-Russian separatists have been blamed for the incident, although they are denying the attack.
US intelligence officials have confirmed that a surface-to-air missile was responsible for bringing down the plane which US Vice President Joe Biden explains was “blown out of the sky”.
Australia’s department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have confirmed that 27 Australians were on board. “We are sad to say that the Dutch authorities have advised 27 Australians were on board MH17,” DFAT said in a statement.
Unconfirmed reports have also revealed that one New Zealander was on board.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said anyone with concerns for friends or family can call the hotline on 1300 555 135.