A Malaysia Airlines jet has reportedly been shot down on Thursday, according to Reuters. Reports initially indicated that the airliner, believed to be a Boeing 777, had gone missing over eastern Ukraine. The situation is rapidly developing, but early reports from Reuters now indicate that all 295 people on the aircraft are dead.
The reports out so far are coming from the Ukraine news agency Interfax, and Ukrainian officials have indicated that wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has been found. It seems that the flight disappeared from radar and then crashed in the Donetsk region near the city of Shakhtarsk. A tweet from Malaysia Airlines confirms that there has been an incident. They wrote, “Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukranian airspace. More details to follow.”
Naturally as this news spreads people start to wonder if there is any connection to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. That plane disappeared on March 8 and still has never been found. Flight MH17 had departed from Amsterdam Thursday and was headed to Kuala Lumpur. CNN aviation safety consultant Mary Schiavo says that the area where the plane apparently went down is a troubled, hostile area. Reuters indicates that the aircraft was shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft system via a ground-to-air missle in an area known for its pro-Russian rebels.
Things have been extremely tense between Russia and Ukraine over the past few months, and speculation at this point seems to indicate that this Malaysia Airlines flight may have gotten mistaken for a hostile aircraft and been shot down as a result. It would seem that this new incident is in no way related to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, but it certainly has people on edge and speculating with a second plane going down in the matter of a few months. Stay tuned for further updates on Flight MH17 as more information becomes available.