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Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday said U.S. aviation crash experts will soon be on their way to Ukraine to investigate the downed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane.

Biden said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accepted the U.S. offer to send National Transportation Safety Board personnel and airline crash experts to help determine the circumstances surrounding the crash.

“There are many questions that need to be answered and we will get those answers and we will take next steps accordingly,” Biden said during an address at the Netroots Nation conference.

U.S. officials have told NBC News a missile took the plane down. Biden said the airliner “apparently had been shot down. Not an accident. Blown out of the sky.”

Earlier on Thursday the President Barack Obama said the crash “may be a terrible tragedy.”


-- Andrew Rafferty