MH17: Big photos capture Malaysia Airline tragedy

People inspect the crash site of the passenger plane near the village of Hrabove, Ukraine. Photo / AP
People inspect the crash site of the passenger plane near the village of Hrabove, Ukraine. Photo / AP

A Malaysian airliner crashed in strife-torn east Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board and leaving a horrific trail of carnage on the ground, with US claims it was shot down in a missile attack prompting global consternation.

Kiev accused pro-Russian separatists battling Ukrainian forces of the "terrorist act" as stunned world leaders called for an international inquiry into the disaster, which could further fan the flames of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.

The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, enroute from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, also heaps new distress on Malaysia and its flag carrier, which is still afflicted by the trauma and global stigma of flight MH370's disappearance four months ago.

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As Malaysian investigators headed to the scene, the UN Security Council called an emergency session on Friday to discuss the disaster.

"This is a tragic day, in what has already been a tragic year, for Malaysia," Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak told a press conference early Friday after announcing an "immediate investigation".

Photos of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster


First-aid workers gather on the site of the crash. Photo / AFP


Self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the pro-Russian separatist "Donetsk People's Republic" Alexander Borodai (C) on the site of the crash. Photo / AFP


Flames and smoke amongst the wreckage of the jet. Photo / AFP


A firefighter sprays water to extinguish a fire amongst the wreckage. Photo / AFP


A firefighter sprays water to extinguish a fire amongst the wreckage. Photo / AFP


A firefighter sprays water to extinguish a fire amongst the wreckage. Photo / AFP


A young girl places her head on a teddy bear in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev. Photo / AFP


Relatives of people onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 react outside the family holding area at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Photo / AFP


A firefighter stands as flames burst amongst the wreckage of the jet. Photo / AFP


The wreckage of the jet after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk. Photo / AFP


Luggage on the site of the crash. Photo / AFP


Flames amongst the wreckage of the jet. Photo / AFP


Part of the jet after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk. Photo / AFP


A woman reacts to news regarding a Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed in eastern Ukraine. Photo / AP


People walk amongst the debris at the crash site. Photo / AP


Smoke rises up at the crash site. Photo / AP


A relative of passengers on flight MH17 cries as he waits in a bus to receive more information, at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. Photo / AP


A woman with a child walks past the crash site. Photo / AP


A man walks amongst the debris at the crash site. Photo / AP

- nzherald.co.nz, AFP

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