AP
The tweet that sparked a chain of false claims that the Dutch plane carrying bodies back to Eindhoven air base had crashedTwitter @AP

Global news agency The Associated Press has sparked chaos on Twitter with a disastrous error in a tweet about the Dutch air force plane returning with the first bodies of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 victims.

The tweet, sent on Wednesday afternoon, read: "BREAKING: Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven."

Missing a crucial comma between "crash" and "lands", the grammatically-flawed tweet went out to 3.5million followers and was retweeted by a further 3,500 accounts.

The Press Association – Britain's premier news agency – hastily repeated the accidental claim sending out a news alert that said: "The Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has reportedly crash landed in Eindhoven."

This was immediately followed by a second alert, which correctly read: "The Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has landed in Eindhoven."

The plane landed safely at its destination this afternoon and was met by members of the Dutch royal family and Prime Minister Mark Rutte.