Renowned sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on shot down Malaysian airlines plane MH 17, at Puri beach of Odisha
The plane could have been brought down by a ground-to-air missile, sources said. "I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on his Twitter feed. "We are launching an immediate investigation," he said as he rushed to the Kuala Lumpur airport. Workers at the crash site were trying to find the black box. Some media reports said pro-Russian separatists claimed to have found the flight recorders. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk also ordered a probe into accident. A number of Ukrainian military planes have been shot down by missiles in recent weeks. Ukraine has accused Russia's military of supplying advanced missiles to the rebels, the BBC reported. Earlier on Thursday, Ukrainian officials blamed the Russian air force for shooting down one of its ground attack jets on Wednesday. Tensions have been high between Ukraine and Russia since street protests forced former pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych from power in February. Russia subsequently annexed Ukraine's southeastern Crimea region and a pro-Russia separatist rebellion has been raging in Ukraine's eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Ukrainian forces have been struggling to quell the separatist unrest. Ukraine's government has accused Russia of allowing weapons and military equipment, including tanks, to cross the border illegally into the hands of pro-Russia separatists. US President Barack Obama described the incident as a "terrible tragedy". He said US officials were trying to establish if any Americans were on board. Russian President Vladimir Putin "expressed deep condolences" to Malaysia's Prime Minister over the crash, a post Thursday on the Kremlin's website said. Several airlines, including Air India, Jet Airways Lufthansa and Air France, say they will now avoid eastern Ukrainian airspace.