Dutch authorities say 27 Australians were aboard the Malaysian Airlines jet that crashed in Ukraine, suspected of being shot down by a surface-to-air missile.
The CEO of Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport just held a briefing where he gave a breakdown of the nationalities of the 295 passengers and crew aboard the plane, which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
He said there were 27 Australians among the passengers.
Video footage from the scene of the crash overnight showed a soldier holding an Australian passport found in the wreckage.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the loss of the plane was a “terrible tragedy. “My deepest, deepest condolences to everyone connected with people on this flight.”
He said consular staff were working with Dutch authorities to establish the identities of the passengers.
Abbott said it it did emerge the plane was shot down, it would be “an unspeakable crime and the perpetrators should swiftly be brought to justice.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it had “grave concerns” that Australian citizens were aboard the flight. People with concerns for friends or relatives can call 1300 555 135.
Also among the passengers, according to Schipol management, were 154 Dutch, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonsians, six British, four Germans, four Belgians, and three from The Philippines. “The rest, we have not yet identified [their] nationality,” he said.
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