The Boeing 777 aircraft en route from Holland to Kuala Lumpur was hit by a sophisticated surface-to-air missile over territory near Donetsk held by pro-Russian rebels who the Ukrainian government says are backed by the Kremlin. The Ukrainian authorities laid the blame for the attack on the rebels by denying any responsibility for the missile launch. But Russian President Putin said the blame lay with Ukraine because the tragedy happened in their airspace and they are responsible for current hostilities TV pictures from the scene showed a pall of smoke billowing into the sky near Donetsk, apparently from the stricken flight MH17. Witnesses say body parts are scattered over a distance of 15km, suggesting the plane broke up in mid-air. Meanwhile relatives of some of the lost passengers were left to grieve in Amsterdam.