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Following the crash of the Malaysian Airlines plane in Ukraine, Vice-President Kallas today activated the EU aviation crisis cell to manage the effects on airspace and to guarantee the safety of flights.
"I would like to say again that we are all deeply shocked by the crash of the Malaysian Airlines plane in Ukraine, with the tragic loss of so many lives. Our deepest condolences go to the families of the victims”, Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission, said in a statement on Friday 17 July.
“What is needed now is an immediate and independent investigation into the causes of the crash. I call on everyone concerned to participate and to be ready to do whatever they can to help in this essential task.
In practical terms, this means that the investigators need unimpeded access to the crash site, and of course to the "black boxes", the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. Public trust demands a fully transparent and open procedure.
I have activated the EU aviation crisis cell so that there is proper coordination of the effects on airspace to guarantee the safety of flights. I would like to reassure air passengers that it is safe to fly.
But I completely understand now that the public is hungry for facts. The facts in terms of what has happened to MH 17 must be laid open for global public scrutiny.
And if it becomes clear that this crash has been caused deliberately, if MH17 has been shot out of the skies without regard to the deaths of so many innocent civilians, those responsible will be brought to justice."