London: A Malaysian Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in eastern Ukraine near Donetsk, according to online reports.

On board were 280 passengers and 15 crew, Russia’s Interfax news agency said.

Anti-Russian activists in the Ukraine claimed it was shot down over territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

Interfax quoted a source in aviation circles saying the flight was about 80 kilometres from Russian airspace.

The plane wreckage was said to be on fire.

Euromaidan PR linked to several videos showing thick plumes of smoke coming from an unidentified site.

Ukarine’s Espreso TV reported that pro-Russian militants had recently received anti-aircraft weapons capable of shooting down planes at high altitudes.

However there was not yet any official confirmation of the crash, or its cause.