In the second disaster for Malaysia Airlines this year, Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur went down in Eastern Ukraine. Nearly 300 passengers and crewmembers are presumed dead.
"The families need consolation and our prayers. And there many questions that need to be answered," said Vice President Joe Biden.
Plane debris, scattered over several miles in rebel territory, signify the plane broke apart in midair.
The U.S. and Ukranian governments believe a missile brought down the Boeing 777.
"We must and we will find precisely what happened to this flight," said Malaysian Prime Minister Najih Razak, during a press conference Thursday.
Ukraine's security agency released recordings of what it calls intercepted phone calls between Russia and a separatist group. CBS News couldn't verify the recording, but a voice can be heard saying, "We have just shot down a plane."
Meantime, Ukraine is calling the disaster a "terrorist act" pointing fingers at Russian separatists. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who's long been accused of supplying arms to rebel forces, denies the accusations.
Juan Zarate, CBS News national security analyst, said the incident changes diplomacy.
"We've relied on Russia to control forces on the ground … we may be facing escalation."
One thing is for certain. The disaster will change protocol for international commercial aviation.
"I expect importance how safety information shares and intelligence based risk info is given to airlines and pilots when they plan flights," says Chesley Sullenberger, CBS News aviation and safety analyst.
The Federal Aviation Administration even warned airlines months ago not to fly over Crimea because of the "airspace dispute" between Russia and Ukraine. And, after the crash, several airlines are changing flight paths.