malaysia flight


Cor Pan probably didn't realize the effect his post would have when he shared it.

The Dutch citizen was aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane that was carrying 295 people and was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday. But prior to taking off, Pan took a snapshot of the plane and posted the picture on his Facebook page with the caption that translates to, "If it disappears, this is what it looks like," poking fun at the Malaysia plane that went mysteriously missing in March.

The aircraft, which was shot down near the Russian border, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it fell near the city of Donetsk in a war-torn area which has become a stronghold for pro-Russian rebels. All the passengers onboard were killed.

The Malaysia Airlines Twitter account confirmed that they had "lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam," adding that the "last known position was over Ukrainian airspace."

Anton Gerashenko, a Ukrainian Interior Ministry official, addressed the news on Facebook and said that the plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was struck by an air-to-ground missile fired from a Buk rocket launcher. "A civilian airliner travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has just been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft system...280 passengers and 15 crew have been killed," Gerashenko was quoted as saying by Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

The comments on Cor Pan's photo began with friends wishing him a "happy holiday" and requesting to see more pictures from his vacation, to users expressing their utter shock and condolences.

President Barack Obama addressed the situation, saying that the administration is "working to determine whether there were American citizens on board, that is our first priority." The president also had a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about the unfolding events.

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