Obama: Plane shot down by missile, 1 American dead

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama says a Malaysian Airlines crash that killed 298 people is more proof of an urgent need for peace in Ukraine.

One American died in the crash that happened Thursday and is identified as Quinn Lucas Schansman a dual U.S.-Dutch citizen.

Officials are investigating whether the plane was shot down by pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Obama said he believes Russia’s inaction throughout the conflict points to the country supporting violence, and that it must push separatists to a ceasefire. He spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday and urged him to take a path that will result in peace.

“Violence and conflict inevitably lead to unforeseen consequences,” Obama said in a media conference Friday.

The U.S. will support Ukraine as it works to strengthen its democracy, Obama said.

Crash details:

— U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told the U.N. Security Council the plane was “likely downed by a surface-to-air missile” from a separatist-held location in Ukraine, and it is possible Russia aided the attack.

“Russia can end this war,” Power said. “Russia must end this war.”

— Social media was used by separatists to boast about the shooting of the airplane. The references were later deleted, according to Power.

— No one survived the crash. Three infants were onboard, according to reports.

— Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk blames the “terrorists” (used to describe pro-Russian rebels) for shooting down the plane, and asked all governments to support an investigation by the country’s government.

— Putin blamed Ukraine for the incident, saying its military operations against separatists spurred volatility in the region.

— The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is investigating at the crash site, which is in rebel territory in Ukraine.

— The crashed plane was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Passengers were from a variety of places around the world. Their names have not been released pending the notification of families.

— Fifteen crew members on the plane were all Malaysian nationals, according to CNN.  A large contingent of scientists heading to an AIDS convention in Australia were onboard, according to The Associated Press.

Ukraine Interior Ministry released a video Friday showing a truck carrying a Buk missile launcher it said was used to fire on the plane, and it was apparently missing one of four missiles. The video has not been verified and there is no way of doing so, according to AP.

As of Friday afternoon, no black boxes from the plane had reportedly been found.

-- Information from CNN and The Associated Press is included in this report.
 

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