(WMC) - U.S. sources confirm to CNN a Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 298 people was shot down over Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile. All passengers are believed to be dead, and as the situation unfolds one Mid-South woman is keeping a close eye on it.
Helen Keene has been in Memphis almost 20 years now, she is originally from Eastern Ukraine, miles from where Malaysia plane MH17 went down. She almost couldn't believe the news along with horror and also sadness for the people that lost their lives on the plane, which went down near the Ukraine-Russian border.
For months now she's been following the conflict in Ukraine and Russia, especially after she welcomed three Ukrainian orphans into her home last month. They are in the U.S. for a summer exchange experience; Keene is worried about the life they'll go back to in August.
"To know that my family and friends are having to go through that, and for the ones that stayed who are risking their lives, and for the ones who left all their things behind," said Keene.
She thinks the plane crash is all related to a conflict that only seems to be getting worse.
"It has become more of an international-escalating situation that I think ultimately Ukraine will need some help in getting this resolved," she said.
Keen says there are 24 other Ukrainian orphans scheduled to fly into the United States this months, at this time those flights are still planned to come. Though, she says, the program is looking for 10 families to host orphans.
In the meantime, several airlines have announced they will not fly over the conflict area of Ukraine.