Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane is shot down
The Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines took off from Amsterdam, Netherlands, for a passenger flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 283 passengers and 15 crewmember were onboard. The plane disappeared from radar screens while it was en-route at FL330 about 50 NM northwest of Donetsk, Ukraine. The burning wreckage has been located near the Ukrainian/Russian border. All the 298 people onboard were killed.
The Boeing 777 was struck by a missile launched by a Buk surface-to-air missile system.
Investigation reports indicates that : «Malaysia Airlines operated flight MH17, an airworthy Boeing 777-200 with the registration 9M-MRD, in cruise flight near the Ukrainian/Russian border at 33,000 feet, under the control of Ukrainian Air Traffic Control and was operated by a competent and qualified crew. […] A warhead detonated outside and above the left hand side of the cockpit of flight MH17. It was a 9N314M warhead carried on the 9M38-series of missiles as installed on the Buk surface-to-air missile system. […] The impact killed the three persons in the cockpit and caused structural damage to the forward part of the aeroplane leading to an in-flight break-up. The break-up resulted in a wreckage area of 50 square kilometres between the village of Petropavlivka and the town of Hrabove, Ukraine. All 298 occupants lost their lives.»
The aircraft flight route was earlier declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.
On Nov 17th 2022 the Court in Netherland's The Hague convicted three men (two Russians and one Ukrainian) for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The three men were convicted of murder and of playing a role in the destruction of the plane. They were sentenced to life imprisonment, although it is unlikely that they will ever serve their sentences due to them living in Russia and Ukrainian territories annexed by Moscow; extradition is highly unlikely.
Since year 2000, 7 commercial or transport planes have been voluntary or mistakenly shot by missiles. Watch here the list of those airplanes shot by missiles since year 2000.
This accident is the 2nd worst plane crash since year 2000 in terms of the number of combined onboard and ground fatalities.