Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: 1 Canadian aboard, official says

A Canadian was among 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which crashed in Eastern Ukraine, officials in Amsterdam said Thursday. All aboard the plane died.

Canadian PM Harper offers condolences to families about 'outrageous act'

Officials in the Netherlands say at least one Canadian was among the 298 people who died on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which crashed in Eastern Ukraine Thursday. 

Officials had initially reported that 280 passengers were on board but Malaysia Airlines later revamped the numbers.

The information was read at a news conference by officials from Malaysia Airlines and the Amsterdam airport, where the flight to Kuala Lumpur originated.

Jos Nijhuis, CEO of Schiphol Airport, confirmed the 15-member crew were Malaysian nationals and said the plane also carried:

  • 154 Dutch passengers.
  • 27 from Australia.
  • 28 from Malaysia (including two infants).
  • 12 Indonesians (including one infant).
  • Nine from the United Kingdom.
  • Four from Germany.
  • Four from Belgium.
  • Three from the Philippines.

No names were given, and the official said the nationalities of some passengers were still being determined.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is "aware of media reports indicating that one Canadian citizen was aboard the flight."

"We are working with local authorities to gather more information on the situation. Consular officials in Ottawa stand ready to provide consular assistance to the families of the victims," the department said in a statement to CBC News.

"Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew on board flight MH17."

The department also tweeted earlier that anyone who knows of Canadians on flight MH17 or requires information about family or relatives should call 1-800-387-3124 or email sos@international.gc.ca.

The Ukrainian government says the Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down.

The government in Kyiv and pro-Russia separatists fighting in Ukraine's eastern region both denied they were responsible for bringing down the plane.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird tweeted he was horrified to learn of the crash and that the government is following the situation closely.

In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was "shocked and saddened" to learn of the crash.

"Laureen and I offer our thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims of this outrageous act," he said. 

"While we do not yet know who is responsible for this attack, we continue to condemn Russia’s military aggression and illegal occupation of Ukraine, which is at the root of the ongoing conflict in the region."

The airline says it was notified by Ukrainian aviation authorities that they lost contact with flight MH17 about 50 kilometres from the border with Russia.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is calling for an international investigation into the crash, saying it was an act of terrorism.

With files from The Canadian Press