This is tragic. Reports of an MH plane crash in eastern Ukraine, near the border with Russia. The plane was believed to be carrying close to 300 people from Amsterdam to KL.
It is not clear if the plane was shot down. But a Ukrainian interior ministry adviser has accused separatists of shooting down the plane. He said the plane was cruising at an altitude of 33000 feet when it was shot down with a BUK launcher. But let’s not rule out other possibilities, as analysts have said this is something only a professional military force could undertake.
Accoring to Russia Today:
According to the Russian Defense Ministry information, units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine located in the crash-site are equipped with anti-aircraft missile systems of “Buk-M1” … These complexes in their tactical and technical characteristics are capable of detecting air targets at ranges of up to 160 kilometers and hit them at full altitude range at a distance of over 30 kilometers,” the ministry’s statement reads as cited by Ria.
A few questions arise:
Why was MH17 flying over a known warzone instead of staying well clear (though other commercial aircraft were also flying in the same area)?
Why fly over an area in which two Ukrainian aircraft had been shot down just days earlier? Was Malaysia Airlines trying to save fuel by using this flight path as some reports have suggested?
Was MH17 flying at a safe higher altitude?
What sort of warnings did Ukrainian aviation authorities issue before this?
Was MH17 on its usual route or did it divert from its usual flight path? CBS News reports that MH17’s fight path had deviated further north from its usual route.
It is not clear why it flew over eastern Ukraine, a region which the Ukrainian aviation authorities had closed to all commercial flights on 8 July.
Reuters, however, reports:
Malaysia Airlines said on Friday the flight route taken by an airliner that came down in Ukraine had been declared safe by the U.N. aviation arm, the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
It also said the International Air Transportation Association “had stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions”…
Meanwhile, check out this report from a Kiev English-language website, which has reproduced a tapped conversation purportedly between the a commander of the pro-Russian militants and Russian intelligence after the plane had been downed.
Our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who perished.
Is this the end of the road for Malaysia Airlines as a company?
Meanwhile, don’t take your eyes off the Israeli ground offensive in Gaza.