KUALA LUMPUR, July 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Malaysia will send a group of 62 specialists to the crash site of its passenger airliner in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, Malaysian Minister of Transport Hussein Hishammuddin said on Friday.
The minister said that the group is comprised of the Malaysian Air Force representatives, aviation experts and doctors.
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in Ukraine’s embattled eastern Donetsk Region on Thursday night.
A total of 298 people, including all passengers and crewmembers, were killed in the crash. Earlier reports cited the figure of 295 people killed, however, it turned out later that three infants were unaccounted for on the tragic flight.
“As opposed to the earlier statement, the flight was carrying a total number of 298 people - comprising 283 passengers including three infants of various nationalities and 15 crew of Malaysian nationality,” the Malaysian Transportation Ministry said in its press release.
The country’s ministry added in its statement that the International Air Transportation Association announced before the tragic event “that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.”
“Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur went down in eastern Ukraine,” the statement said. “Malaysia Airlines confirms that the aircraft did not make a distress call.”
The Kiev authorities accused Russia and Ukrainian militias for being behind the air disaster.
The European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) reported on Friday that Ukraine’s authorities sealed air space over the country’s eastern regions following the Malaysian aircraft’s crash.
The Malaysian Transportation Ministry also stated in its press release that the killed passengers in the crash were citizens of the Netherlands (154), Malaysia (45), Australia (27), Indonesia (12), the United Kingdom (9), Germany (4), Belgium (4), the Philippines (3), Canada (1). Nationalities of 41 more passengers are still to be verified, according the ministry.