Malaysia says jetliner did not make distress call

Smoke rises up at a crash site of a passenger plane, near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine, Thursday, July 17, 2014. A Ukrainian official said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday as it flew over the country and plumes of black smoke rose up near a rebel-held village in eastern Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines tweeted that it lost contact with one of its flights as it was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukrainian airspace. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Smoke rises up at a crash site of a passenger plane, near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine, Thursday, July 17, 2014. A Ukrainian official said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday as it flew over the country and plumes of black smoke rose up near a rebel-held village in eastern Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines tweeted that it lost contact with one of its flights as it was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukrainian airspace. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s prime minister said Friday that a Malaysia Airlines jetliner did not make any distress call before it went down in Ukraine, and that the flight route had been declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, who addressed a news conference after speaking with leaders of Ukraine, the Netherlands, and President Barack Obama, said “no stone wil be left unturned” in finding out what happened to MH.

He told reporters that Ukrainian authorities believe the Boeing 777-200, on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 280 passengers and 15 crew, was shot down Thursday.

“At this stage, however, Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of this tragedy but we must, and we will, find out precisely what happened to this flight,” Najib said. “If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice,” he said.

Najib said the aircraft flight route was declared safe by the ICAO, the global organization that governs civil aviation. He said the International Air Transportation Authority had also stated that the air space that the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions. Besides, “Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the aircraft did not make a distress call.”

This is the second tragedy to hit Malaysia Airlines this year. Its Flight 370 disappeared on March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It has not been found, but the search has been concentrated in the Indian Ocean west of Australia.

“This is a tragic day in what has already been a tragic year for Malaysia,” Najib said.

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