O'Dowd sends condolences to families
FLYNN MP Ken O'Dowd has sent his condolences to families involved in the Malaysian Boeing 777 passenger plane incident that was shot down with 295 people on board.
Initial unconfirmed reports are that 27 Australians may have been on board the passenger plane that had 280 passengers and 15 crew.
The plane headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by a surface to air missile near the Ukrainian Russian border today.
Speaking from his Canberra office early this morning, Mr O'Dowd said he was extremely saddened and outraged to hear of the tragedy.
"This is terrible news and my condolences go out to the families and friends of all the people that have been affected by this terrible tragedy," he said.
"This is it's an outrageous crime and the international community must act strongly to hunt those responsible down and bring them to justice.
"If as it appears, pro-Russian separatists are behind this attack, then the world cannot look the other way on this. They and their backers must be held to account!"
Australian officials are urgently working with Ukrainian authorities to seek confirmation of the casualties and nationalities.
Anyone holding concerns for relatives or friends should try to contact them directly; if unable to do so they should call the DFAT 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas or within Australia on 1300 555 135.
The Observer would like to get in contact with anyone who knows any of the Australians on board the flight. Please call 4970 3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.