Interfax, a non-governmental Russian news agency, is reporting that a Malaysian passenger plane has crashed in the Ukraine near the border with Russia.

In a story dated at 19:31 local time the agency says that 280 passengers and fifteen crew members were on board.

They are saying that the plane was shot down.

The Ukraine Interior Minister, Anton Geraschenko, says that the plane was hit by a missile.

The plane was a Boeing believed to have been flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

The Associated Press is now reporting that a posting on Geraschenko's Facebook page says that the plane was flying at 10,000 meters (33,000 feet) when it was hit by the missile fired by a Buk launcher.

A similar launcher was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne earlier Thursday.

We will provide more information as soon as it is available.