Ukraine orders inquiry over 777 loss

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Preliminary surveillance data from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 lost en route to Kuala Lumpur indicates that the aircraft was in the vicinity of the boundary between Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk airspace in Ukraine.

The aircraft’s route appears to coincide with airway L980 although its flight plan remains unconfirmed.

It had been operating from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, close to Donetsk, when contact was lost over Ukrainian airspace, says the carrier.

Initial indications from surveillance data suggest the aircraft is a 777-200ER registered 9M-MRD.

Ukraine’s office of the prime minister says it has ordered an immediate government commission to “clarify the circumstances of the disaster”.

It adds that it wants the participation of Eurocontrol and ICAO, and that investigations should also examine the loss of other aircraft including a Ukrainian armed forces Antonov An-26 on 14 July and an Ilyushin Il-76 on 14 June.

Ukrainian airspace has already been the subject of formal warnings over aircraft safety from air navigation agencies, following the political unrest in the eastern part of the country and the Russian annexation of Crimea.