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Only Months After MH370 Disappears, Plane Crash in Ukraine Sends Malaysians Reeling

A relative of those on board flight MH17 getting emotional while being interviewed by media. Photo by Hon Keong Soo. Copyright @Demotix (7/18/2014)

A relative of those on board flight MH17 getting emotional while being interviewed by media. Photo by Hon Keong Soo. Copyright @Demotix (7/18/2014)

In the wake of the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, condolences have poured in for the families of the 298 passengers and crew members who were on board. 

MH17 was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it was shot down by a BUK missile. Many reports have pointed to pro-Russian insurgents mistakenly shooting down the passenger jet, but rebel leaders have denied this. 

This is the second tragedy to hit Malaysia Airlines in a matter of months. It lost flight MH370, which was carrying 239 passengers and crew on March 8 when it vanished from radar.

Reeling from the twin tragedies, Malaysian netizens are using the Twitter hashtag #PrayForMH17 to talk about the crash.  

A Malaysia Airlines flight attendant highlighted the loss of lives on MH17 as well as MH370, sharing a picture on Twitter and Instagram: 

Image shared from a Malaysia Airlines flight attendant's Instagram

Image shared from a Malaysia Airlines flight attendant's Instagram

Many politicians used Twitter to express their shock and explain what they think are the next steps forward.

Prime Minister Najib Razak extended his sympathies to the victims and their families:

My prayers today went out to the passengers and crew of MH17 as well as their families. This is an extremely tough time for us all.

Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's minister of defence, tweeted the Malaysian government's priorities: 

Malaysian Minister for Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin stressed that blame should not be put on Malaysia Airlines for flying over a conflict zone:  

Several renowned Malaysians also tweeted sympathies and shock. Malaysian badminton player Lee Chong Wei was one of them: 

Television presenter and radio host Xandria Ooi said that blaming will not help the cause: 

Pang Khee Teik, organiser for Seksualiti Merdeka (Malaysia's sexuality rights festival), sent his sympathies:

Conspiracies about the crash are circulating in cyberspace, but for many Malaysians this is the time to grieve the loss of innocent lives and to help their loved ones recover from the tragedy.

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