KUALA LUMPUR, July 19:
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that was blown out of the sky while flying across eastern Ukraine, was not a sole casualty of warfare.
Unfortunately, there has been a long history of commercial planes being shot down when flying over or near war zones.
An article by CBS News highlighted a few recent cases:
Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 (Feb 21, 1973)
An Israeli F-4 jet fighter’s 20mm cannon brought down a Boeing 727 flying from Tripoli to Cairo off-course because of mechanical problems. It drifted east across the Suez Canal and over the Sinai Peninsula, which at that point was Israeli territory. It tried to make an emergency landing in the desert. Of 113 people on board, 108 died.
Korean Air Lines Flight 902 (April 20, 1978)
Two died when a Boeing 707 was ordered shot down after violating Soviet airspace. The damaged plane made an emergency landing on a frozen lake near the border of Finland. There were 107 people on board.
Air Rhodesia Flight 825 (Sept 3, 1978)
A surface-to-air missile was used to shoot down an Air Rhodesia plane shortly after the Russian-made Strela 2 airliner took off from Kariba during the Rhodesian Bush War. A few months later in February, the same rebel group was responsible for another shoot-down of an Air Rhodesia Strela 2 airliner, Flight 827, which crashed near Lake Kariba. All 59 aboard were killed.
Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (Sept 1, 1983)
KAL Flight 007, a Boeing 747, deviated from its planned route shortly after take-off from Alaska heading to Seoul. It entered Russian territory and fighter jets accompanying the aircraft shot a missile that struck the plane. The cabin experienced rapid decompression, and the plane arced upwards, reaching an altitude of more than 38,000 feet, before falling from the sky over Moneron Island. All 269 people on board were killed. In a Presidential address Ronald Reagan told Americans: “This crime against humanity must never be forgotten, here or throughout the world.”
Air Malawi 7Q-YMB (Nov 6, 1987)
A domestic flight in Malawi ventured into Mozambique air space during that country’s civil war and was shot down, ten passengers and crew members were killed.
Iran Air Flight 655 (July 3, 1988)
Iran Air Flight 655 flying from Tehran to Dubai was shot down by the United States Navy guided missile cruiser USSVincennes. The attack took place in Iranian airspace, over its territorial waters in the Persian Gulf while the plane was on its usual flight path. The plane was negligently shot down after it was mistook as an attacking F-14 Tomcat. All 290 on board, including 66 children and 16 crew, died.
Transair George disasters (Sept 21, 22, 23, 1993)
Three incidences over three days saw Transair Georgia planes shot down by rebel gunfire in the former Soviet Republic.
On Sept 21, 1993, a Tu-134 aircraft was hit by a surface-to-air missile and crashed near Sukhumi-Babusheri Airport, killing 27.
The next day a Tu-154, also attempting to land at Sukhumi, was shot down; 108 people died.
On Sept. 23, rebel mortar fire hit an aircraft during boarding process; one crew member was killed when the plane caught fire.
Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 (Oct 4, 2001)
A Siberian Airlines Tu-154 flying from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk in Russia, nearly a month after the 9/11 attacks, crashed into the Black Sea off the Crimean coast with the loss of 78 people. The Ukraine government admitted that its S-200 missile had struck the plane after missing a test drone target.
Lionair Flight LN 602 (March 23, 2007)
Fifty-five people lost their lives after the Tamil Tiger rebels allegedly caused the crash of a Lionair Antonov An-24RV into the sea off Sri Lanka.