Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane has crashed in Ukraine, near the Russian border. To find out more, do read on.
Just a few months after the MH370 tragedy, Malaysia Airlines has suffered yet another major setback. This time, the ill-fated plane is Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, bound for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.
About two hours into the long-haul flight, the plane had crashed in Eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border – to the disbelief of the horrified spectators who had witnessed the plane turning into a fireball and falling to the ground, thus raining mutilated human corpses and debris everywhere.
298 people on board
The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane had initially been scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur early on Friday morning, with 298 passengers and crew on board from 11 different nationalities. 80 of the passengers were children and three were infants.
A large number of the casualties also included renowned AIDS researchers, activists and officials. They had been carrying vital information that may have helped to combat or even cure the AIDS virus – and were all heading to an AIDS convention to be held tomorrow – in Melbourne, Australia.
Now, every single one of these people is believed to be dead. The crash area is still being combed for survivors. But with every dead body uncovered and found, the rescuers’ already slim hopes of finding anyone alive has become grimmer than ever.
Taken down by a surface-to-air missile
The passenger jet had been taken down by a surface-to-air missile, a result of fighting between Ukraine and the pro-Russian Ukraine separatists.
Said US President Obama to the NPR radio station in America, “Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine.”
What does this mean for Malaysia Airlines?
With the missing M370 strongly believed to have crashed, this now means that two Malaysia Airlines planes have been struck down by tragedy within the space of a few months.
I think that this definitely does not bode very well for the airliner. We know that it has certainly been hit hard financially in the wake of the MH370 tragedy with a sharp decline in passengers booking flights with them.
And I strongly suspect that the latest MH17 incident may hit Malaysia’s national carrier even further. It could scare passengers off travelling altogether, or if they still go on holiday, I think that many will choose to book their trips with other carriers instead.
Air travel is still safe
Despite these mishaps though, I still feel that air travel in general is still relatively safe. For example, according to planecrashinfo.com, the odds of being killed on an airplane stands at about 1 in 4.7 million. To put things into perspective, there are 1.4 car fatalities for every 10,000 cars on the road in the USA, so you are more likely to die in a car accident than a plane crash.
After all, I am sure that the loss of both of these Malaysian Airlines planes are two isolated cases. There are many thousand more passenger jets that take off and land safely at their destination – without any incident.