Malaysian Airliner Shot Down near Ukraine-Russia Border

452914898A Dutch woman gazes at flowers gathered in memory of victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 at the Amsterdam airport.

The crash of an airliner full of passengers is a major disaster under any circumstances. For a commercial plane to be shot down in a war zone only compounds the tragedy. On July 17, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed near the Ukraine-Russia border, killing all 298 passengers and crew. The plane was en route from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, traveling at 33,000 feet, when it was hit by the explosion of a surface-to-air missile. The vast majority of those who perished were Dutch citizens, though many Malaysians and Australians were also on board.

The crash in the Donetsk region of Ukraine is still under investigation, but it is widely believed that the airliner was recklessly targeted by Russian-backed rebels who are fighting the Ukrainian government. The rebels may have mistaken the Boeing 777 for a government aircraft. Each side in the conflict has blamed the other, and determining exactly what happened will be extremely difficult. However, the rebels had recently obtained advanced weaponry from Russia, including SA-11s, known as Buks, which have the range to shoot down an aircraft at high altitudes.

The crash site is being investigated by experts from Malaysia, the Netherlands, and the International Civil Aviation Organization, among others. Debris is strewn over a 10-mile diameter across three Ukrainian villages, creating major investigators. Reportedly the flight data recorders were recovered and turned over by the rebels to the Malaysian authorities. Routes like that of Flight 17 over the conflict zone are no longer being used by commercial airlines; however, at the time, the route was a commonly used one. There were a number of other flights in the air over Ukraine at the time Flight 17 was shot down. In that week alone there had been dozens of flights by Aeroflot, Singapore Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, Lufthansa, as well as Malaysia Airlines.

Image credit: © REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images

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  1. trevor says:

    this is very sad

  2. Me says:

    lots a flawrs

  3. surpriser says:

    these people are absolutely crazy you can’t just go shooting random airplanes. And what are they going to do just sit there and say “ooopps” when they have taken all these peoples live

  4. anonomus says:

    Russians are crazy

  5. trevor says:

    crazy russians

  6. your shadow says:

    Russia is crazy, what are they thinking? oops we just blew up a airplane with tons of people in it. #Seriously

  7. Anonymous says:

    those guys are nuts

  8. merry says:

    I don’t know why people do this. it is so sad.