Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane, MH-17, was shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine near the Russian border on 17 July 2014. The Plane was shot down at an altitude of 10000 meters (33000 feet).
The burning wreckage of the aircraft and bodies were found scattered at the village of Grabovo (some 40 km from the Russian border). Pro-Russian rebels are active in the area. Ukrainian authorities and Malaysia Airlines are investigating the incident.
MH-17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members. It is feared that almost everyone on board the plane have died.
The plane, as reported, might have been shot down by the terrorists by a Buk surface-to-air missile system. The Buk missile system can fire missiles up to an altitude of 22000 meters (72000 feet).
A voice recording between rebels and Russian intelligence was published by the Ukraine Security Service on 18 July 2014. The recording claimed that the pro-Russian rebels mistook MH-17 for war jet and committed the catastrophic blunder.
Besides, on 19 July 2014, Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels agreed to set up a security zone of 20 kilometer around the crash site so as to allow the identification of the bodies and hand over the dead bodies to the relatives. The agreement between the two was brokered by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Earlier on 8 March 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 operating a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft disappeared from the radar screens over the South China Sea with 239 people on board.
In lieu of the above incident, Air India and Jet Airways changed the routes of all their flights and have directed their staff not to overfly Ukraine and take longer route, till further orders. Apart from Indian Airlines, global carriers like Russia’s Aeroflot, Germany’s Lufthansa, Air France and Turkish Airlines have also avoided the Ukrainian airspace. European flight safety body Eurocontrol has also closed the airspace in the east of Ukraine to all airline flights.
Other incidents of airplane crashes after being shot
1973 – Israeli fighter jets shot down a Libyan Arab Airlines after it entered Israel-controlled airspace. About 115 people were killed in the incident
1979 – Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) guerrillas shot down an Air Rhodesia by a missile. The plane was travelling between Kariba and Salisbury, Rhodesia. All 59 passengers along with crew members were killed
1983 – Soviet Su-15TM fighter shot down a Korean Air Lines travelling between New York and Seoul over Sakhalin Island. It was shot for flying through prohibited Soviet airspace; all 269 people on board were killed
1988 – US Navy shot down an Iran Air flight from Bandar Abbas, Iran to Dubai. The plane was shot during the Iran-Iraq war and 290 passengers travelling on the plane were killed
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Where: Eastern Ukraine
When: 17 July 2014