The Boeing 777 plane was flying in an international air corridor over eastern Ukraine when it crashed, the Russian news agency reported.

This is tragic. The BBC is live updating the news. 

Update (9.23pm BST): US intelligence services have apparently tracked a surface-to-air missile that shot the plane down. 

All airborne flights are now avoiding the Ukrainian air space. This is madness.  

There are also unconfirmed reports of a intercepted conversation that went down like this: 

-It’s a civilian plane, 100%. 
-Are there many casualties? 
- ****ing nightmare

An anonymous military specialist employed by the Airbus Group adds the act was voluntary, there's no mistake here as a civilian aircraft is clearly different from a military target on any system that could shoot that high in the sky. 

These systems usually require a group of trained and skilled people to operate (and hit the target).  

Update (9pm BST): it's probably too early to tell what really happened, but there are already contradicting reports on whether the aircraft was shot down. It would be unprecedented. The New Republic says it's a game changer.

(Image credit: AP)