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Grave concerns for Australian MH17 passengers

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has set up a hotline for relatives to call following a plane crash in eastern Ukraine this morning

July 18, 2014 9:35am

People stand near flower tributes placed outside the Dutch embassy to commemorate victims of Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Kiev, Ukraine


There are "grave concerns"  for 27 Australians who were on board the Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed in eastern Ukraine.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it's seeking confirmation from authorities and has set up a hotline - 1300 555 135 - for relatives to call.

International broadcasters are showing footage of what appears to be an Australian passport picked up amongst the wreckage although there is no official confirmation of the finding.

Qantas has confirmed it didn't have any code share passengers aboard flight MH17, which was carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in rebel-held east Ukraine in what has been called a "terrorist" attack.

A spokesman for Qantas told AAP the airline did not have a code share with that flight.

"There is no change to Qantas operations as a result of the Malaysia Airlines incident," Qantas said.

The carrier does not have flight routes tracking near or over the area where MH17 went down.

Federal government frontbencher Christopher Pyne said the fate of MH17 appeared to be a "random event" amid the ongoing separatist dispute in the Ukraine.

"There's no doubt the plane was shot out of the sky," he told Nine Network.

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