DFA: 3 Filipinos aboard downed Malaysia Airlines

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Friday, July 18, 2014

MANILA (Updated) -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday that three Filipinos were among the 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down in Ukrainian airspace on Thursday.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said the Philippine government received the information from Malaysian and Dutch authorities.

“Names of passengers have yet to be released,” Jose said in a statement.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 that was shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine on Thursday, July 17, was carrying 298 people from at least nine countries.

Here is a breakdown of the nationalities of those on board:

Netherlands: 154
Malaysia: 43 (including 15 crew and two infants)
Australia: 27
Indonesia: 12 (including one infant)
United Kingdom: 9
Germany: 4
Belgium: 4
Philippines: 3
Canada: 1
Unconfirmed nationalities: 41

Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet).

He said it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, which can fire missiles up to an altitude of 22,000 meters (72,000 feet).

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said there was no distress call before the plane went down and that the flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Ukraine Plane Crash.
In this image taken from video, Thursday, July 17, 2014, people walk amongst the debris at the crash site after a passenger plane was shot down Thursday as it flew over Ukraine, near the village of Hrabove, 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)

The Malaysia Airlines tweeted today that it is still notifying the families and relatives of the plane's passengers.

The Philippine government expressed Friday its sympathy to the families of the 298 passengers.

“The Philippines joins the entire global community in expressing its deepest sympathies to the families of the 295 passengers of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 that reportedly crashed in Ukraine,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

He added that the government is one with the international community in calling for the thorough and swift inquiry on the incident.

Coloma also said the DFA will coordinate with Ukrainian and Malaysian authorities in order to ascertain the identities of the three Filipinos.

“The DFA has assured us that our embassies in Malaysia and the Netherlands are coordinating with Malaysian Airlines and other authorities in order to secure more information regarding the tragedy and to assist the affected families,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said. (PNA/AP)

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