A Boeing 777 airplane (flight number MH17) of Malaysia Airlines, flying from Amsterdam (the Netherlands) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) has crashed in eastern Ukraine about 50 kilometers from the borderline with Russia on Thursday (17/07). Reportedly, the airplane was shot down. Supporting evidence for this assumption is debris and body parts that have been found spread across a wide area (more than 15 kilometers wide), indicating an explosion at a high altitude. The Boeing carried 280 passengers and 15 crew members. All are feared dead.
When flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet, radio contact was suddenly lost with the airplane. During the last radio contact with ground stations no problems had been reported.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing crashed in an area that has recently been marked by violent hostilities between the Ukraine government and pro-Russian separatists in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. However, both the Ukraine government and pro-Russian separatists deny that they were behind the crash. Media report that the plane was possibly shot down by a Russian-made antiaircraft system (Buk or Beech designed to target low- and high flying aircrafts to a maximum height of 72,000 feet). Both sides have possession of this weaponry. However, eyewitnesses claim that there were fighter aircrafts present in the airspace just before the Boeing 777 crashed.
The airspace above Ukraine had been open for commercial flights. However, after news spread about the Malaysia Airlines crash, other airlines rapidly announced to avoid the airspace above Ukraine.
The black box has been found by pro-Russia separatists and will be handed over to Moscow.
This is the second major tragedy for Malaysia Airlines in 2014. In March 2014, another Boeing 777 lost contact en route to Beijing. Up to this day, it remains unknown what happened to that airplane, thus becoming one of the biggest mysteries in the history of modern aviation.