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Timeline of MH17 tragedy

Debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shown smoldering in a field on July 17, 2014, in Grabovo, Ukraine, near the Russian border.
Pierre Crom | Getty Images
Debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shown smoldering in a field on July 17, 2014, in Grabovo, Ukraine, near the Russian border.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 went down over Ukraine on Thursday, with U.S. officials saying the crash was the result of a surface-to-air missile. Ukrainian authorities, pro-Russian separatists and Russian President Vladimir Putin traded accusations over who was to blame, but there's no clear indication of responsibility.

Here's a timeline of events:

Thursday 10:15 GMT: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 departs from Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people on board.

Thursday 14:15 GMT: Ukraine aviation authorities inform Malaysia Airlines it lost contact with the flight about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Tamak waypoint, which is 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Russia-Ukraine border. The flight was at 33,000 feet.

Read More Live Blog: MH17 shot down - here's the latest

Thursday around 20:41 GMT: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the plane crash was "not an accident," adding that it was "blown out of the sky." No survivors were reported.

The Ukrainian government, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the aircraft. Putin said Ukraine was responsible for the downing of the plane, noting the location was technically within Ukrainian territory and saying it wouldn't have happened if Kiev hadn't resumed a military campaign against separatists.

Pro-Russian separatists said they would have up to a three-day ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine to allow for recovery work at the site of the downed airliner, according to a RIA news agency.

The spike in geopolitical tension spurred a selloff in U.S. stock markets, while safe haven plays U.S. Treasurys and gold bounced.

Friday 01:00 GMT: Malaysian Airline System (MAS) shares begin trade, falling as much as 17.8 percent before retracing some losses in intraday trade.

Friday 06:00 GMT: Rescue workers recovered a second flight recorder from the wreckage of flight MH17, according to a Reuters report. Pro-Russian separatists said Thursday they found one of the "black box" recorders on Thursday, the report said.

Read More MH17 Ukraine crash: Images from the ground

Although authorities including U.S. President Barack Obama, called for keeping the evidence at the crash site in place for international investigators, separatists sent their personnel there.

Friday around 07:30 GMT: Malaysia Airlines said it is trying to arrange access to the crash site for the relatives of the victims, although it isn't clear how that might affect the investigation.

Friday around 08:00 GMT: In a press conference, Malaysia Airlines updated the nationalities of the victims, saying there were at least 173 Dutch, 27 Australians, 44 Malaysians, including 15 crew and two infants, 12 Indonesians including one infant, nine Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, one New Zealander and one Canadian aboard the Boeing 777 jet. Twenty nationalities remained unverified.

Friday around 14:30 GMT: Speaking at a U.N Security Council Meeting: U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Samantha Power says the the Malaysia Airlines flight was likely downed by SA-11 missile operated from separtist-held location in eastern Ukraine.

Friday around 1700 GMT: Speaking at the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama repeats that the U.S. believes the missile that downed the Malaysia Airlines flight came from inside separitist territory. He also pushes for a "credible international investigation" and warns that the "eyes of the world" are on Russia and Ukraine and the U.S. will "make sure that the truth will out".

—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1

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