Malaysian plane carrying 298 people shot down

Malaysian plane carrying 298 people shot down

U.S. officials say a surface-to-air missile shot down Malaysia Flight 17, killing 298 people.

The plane was shot down in eastern Ukraine, close to the Russian border.

"Shot down, not an accident. Blown out of the sky," said Vice President Joe Biden.

The plane was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with 298 people on board, all believed to be dead.

"The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why. And as a country, out thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the passengers, wherever they call home," said President Barack Obama.

At this time, Ukrainian officials are denying shooting down the plane and instead putting the blame on pro-Russian separatists saying they have intercepted phone calls to back it up. But, those phone calls have not been independently verified and the separatists say they lack the firepower to hit the plane.

This crash comes just a day after reports that a Russian fighter jet shot down a Ukrainian military plane.

Ukrainian Catholic Pastor Andriy Rabiy says regardless of who shot it down, this Ukrainian-Russian conflict has just become much larger.

"Unfortunately it has become a world conflict at this point because many people from different nations were on that plane and died in that explosion," said Andriy Rabiy, the pastor of Nativity of BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church in Reading.

This is the second Malaysian jetliner to go down in recent months.

On March 8, Flight 370 disappeared with 239 people on board and still has not been found.

The Malaysian Prime Minister said the plane never made a distress call. He called for an international team to have full access to the crash site.

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