Malaysia Airlines MH17: What we know, July 19

A man blocks access to the scene of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as emergency personnel remove the bodies of passengers.
A man blocks access to the scene of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as emergency personnel remove the bodies of passengers.
A flower placed on wreckage is pictured at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
A flower placed on wreckage is pictured at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
A pro-Russian separatist holds a stuffed toy found at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
A pro-Russian separatist holds a stuffed toy found at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
A woman lights candles at a memorial for victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Kuala Lumpur.
A woman lights candles at a memorial for victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Kuala Lumpur.
Pro-Russian separatists look at passengers' belongings at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Pro-Russian separatists look at passengers' belongings at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Members of the Ukrainian Emergency Ministry search for bodies near the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash.
Members of the Ukrainian Emergency Ministry search for bodies near the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash.
A journalist takes photographs at the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash.
A journalist takes photographs at the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash.
Members of the Ukrainian Emergency Ministry search for bodies near the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash.
Members of the Ukrainian Emergency Ministry search for bodies near the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash.
 Relatives of passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Relatives of passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Members of the public walk past signage on the Princes Bridge for the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-seven Australians and more than 100 AIDS activists, researchers, health workers and delegates bound for the major conference were among those aboard MH17.
Members of the public walk past signage on the Princes Bridge for the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-seven Australians and more than 100 AIDS activists, researchers, health workers and delegates bound for the major conference were among those aboard MH17.
A security officer passes a Malaysia Airlines advertisement at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang
A security officer passes a Malaysia Airlines advertisement at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang
A man (in blue) whose family was onboard the Malaysia Airlines MH17 consoles another who had just arrived with her wife to receive confirmation that their daughter's family was onboard the plane, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
A man (in blue) whose family was onboard the Malaysia Airlines MH17 consoles another who had just arrived with her wife to receive confirmation that their daughter's family was onboard the plane, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
A relative of a passenger onboard the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH17 is assisted by MAS staff members as she leaves Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
A relative of a passenger onboard the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH17 is assisted by MAS staff members as she leaves Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Malaysian Siti Dina speaks to media as she arrives to confirm news that her daughter was on board Malaysia Airlines MH17 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Malaysian Siti Dina speaks to media as she arrives to confirm news that her daughter was on board Malaysia Airlines MH17 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
A father and daughter light candles at the Dutch embassy to commemorate the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17.
A father and daughter light candles at the Dutch embassy to commemorate the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17.
Malaysian Siti Dina weeps after seeing her daughter's name on the list of passengers on board MH17.
Malaysian Siti Dina weeps after seeing her daughter's name on the list of passengers on board MH17.
People light candles at the Dutch embassy for victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17.
People light candles at the Dutch embassy for victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17.
People place candles and flowers at the Dutch embassy for victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17.
People place candles and flowers at the Dutch embassy for victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17.
People bring flowers and candles to the Dutch embassy to commemorate the victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash.
People bring flowers and candles to the Dutch embassy to commemorate the victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash.
Relatives of passengers onboard the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Relatives of passengers onboard the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
A woman who said she believed her sister was on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, cries as she waits for more information.
A woman who said she believed her sister was on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, cries as she waits for more information.
A Malaysian woman who had a relative on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 waits to travel to Kuala Lumpur.
A Malaysian woman who had a relative on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 waits to travel to Kuala Lumpur.
An Emergencies Ministry member walks through the site of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash.
An Emergencies Ministry member walks through the site of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash.
A firefighter stands as flames burst amongst the wreckages of the MH17.
A firefighter stands as flames burst amongst the wreckages of the MH17.
The wreckage smoulders at the site of the MH17 crash.
The wreckage smoulders at the site of the MH17 crash.
A family member cries as she receives the news of the ill fated flight MH17.
A family member cries as she receives the news of the ill fated flight MH17.
Armed pro-Russian separatists stand at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo.
Armed pro-Russian separatists stand at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo.
Smoke rises from the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Smoke rises from the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Schiphol Chief Executive Jos Nijhuis, Malaysia Airlines Senior Vice President Huib Gorter (middle) and Malaysia's ambassador to the Netherlands Fauziah Binti Mohd Taib at a news conference on flight MH17 at Schiphol Airport.
Schiphol Chief Executive Jos Nijhuis, Malaysia Airlines Senior Vice President Huib Gorter (middle) and Malaysia's ambassador to the Netherlands Fauziah Binti Mohd Taib at a news conference on flight MH17 at Schiphol Airport.
Talking to reporters, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) demands swift justice for those responsible for the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, as Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein looks on.
Talking to reporters, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) demands swift justice for those responsible for the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, as Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein looks on.
Family members of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on a bus bringing them to a separate area at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.
Family members of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on a bus bringing them to a separate area at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.
US President Barack Obama speaks about the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, during a visit to Wilmington, Delaware.
US President Barack Obama speaks about the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, during a visit to Wilmington, Delaware.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranked officials observe a minute's silence for victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranked officials observe a minute's silence for victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash.
An Emergencies Ministry member walks at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in Ukraine.
An Emergencies Ministry member walks at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in Ukraine.
The site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.
The site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.
The upper floor of Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is reserved for family and relatives of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
The upper floor of Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is reserved for family and relatives of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Part of the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 is seen after it crashed near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.
Part of the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 is seen after it crashed near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.
Wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 smoulders at the main crash site.
Wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 smoulders at the main crash site.
Wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 smoulders at the main crash site.
Wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 smoulders at the main crash site.
Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Malaysia Airlines plane crash near Grabovo, Ukraine.
Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Malaysia Airlines plane crash near Grabovo, Ukraine.
Wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 smoulders at the main crash site.
Wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 smoulders at the main crash site.
Wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 smoulders at the main crash site.
Wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 smoulders at the main crash site.
Malaysia Airlines flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia Airlines flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Malaysia Airlines plane crash near Grabovo, Ukraine.
Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Malaysia Airlines plane crash near Grabovo, Ukraine.
The crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine.
The crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine.

One day after the crash of a Malaysian jetliner carrying 298 people in eastern Ukraine, here's what is known, and what has been claimed:

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THE CAUSE

US officials and an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister have said a surface-to-air missile brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 as it flew Thursday from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people aboard died. US Ambassador Samantha Power told the UN Security Council in New York on Friday (local time) the missile was likely fired from a rebel-held area near the Russian border. Independent aviation experts have agreed a missile was the likely cause, but so far, there's been no proof. Ukraine's government, the pro-Russia rebels who oppose it and Russia have all denied shooting down the passenger plane. The official investigation into the crash and its cause has only begun.

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THE "BLACK BOXES"

The whereabouts of the plane's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder remained unknown on Friday. The rebels gave conflicting reports about whether they had found them. Russia's foreign minister said his country had no intention of acquiring them and that they should be given to international aviation organisations. Experts in air accident investigations said the boxes' contents could be key to establishing what happened to the Boeing 777 in the moments before it crashed. The thud of a missile hit or the acoustic shock wave emitted by an explosion could have been picked up by the cockpit recorder, they said.

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THE INVESTIGATION

According to international civil aviation regulations, Ukraine should take the lead in investigating an air crash on its territory. Ukraine has called for an international probe, and the United States has offered to assist. But access to the site in rebel-held lands 40 kilometres from the Russian border remained difficult and dangerous Friday. It was still uncertain whether the rebels would allow Ukrainian government officials to pass through their checkpoints. A spokeswoman for Ukraine's emergency services accused rebel militiamen of interfering with recovery operations.

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THE VICTIMS

By midday, 181 bodies had been recovered, according to emergency workers. A Ukraine Foreign Ministry official said remains of the dead would be taken to government-controlled Kharkiv for identification. Andrei Purgin, a leader of the pro-Russian separatists, said the bodies will be taken to the Black Sea city of Mariupol, also controlled by the government. Malaysia Airlines and relevant governments said the passengers included 192 Dutch, 29 Malaysians, 28 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Vietnamese, three Filipinos and one person each from the US, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong. These likely include some with dual nationalities. Some passengers were researchers and activists heading to an AIDS conference in Australia, news that sparked an outpouring of grief across the scientific community. Among them were the well-known Dutch researcher and former president of the International AIDS Society, Joep Lange, and World Health Organisation spokesman Glenn Thomas, based in Geneva. Malaysia Airlines regional vice president Huib Gorter told reporters at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport the carrier was making an initial payment of US$5000 (NZ$5760) to families of all victims to cover their immediate costs.

AP