Malaysia Airlines pays relatives $5000 for expenses

Malaysia Airlines will give a cash payment to family members of passengers and crew onboard Flight 17.

The money is to cover initial expenses as they await news in the investigation.

The senior vice president of Malaysia Airlines made the announcement Friday. “For the next of kin here in and who we contacted we are going to give an initial cash payment of $5,000 dollars per passenger to serve for their so called first needs.”

Hundreds of relatives and next of kin are gathered at a hotel in Amsterdam. Malaysia Airlines says it will fly them to Ukraine to see the wreckage “at the appropriate moment.”

Flight 17 fell from the sky Thursday, with nearly 300 passengers and crew onboard. It was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Preliminary US intelligence concludes a missile shot down the plane. US defense officials believe it was likely fired by pro-Russian rebels.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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