Kiev: Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down on Thursday over northwest of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, killing all the 298 people on board. The act of terror is yet another disaster to hit the airline this year after MH370â€™s mysterious disappearance in March with 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers.
On March 8, a Malaysia Airlines jetliner vanished about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, spawning an international mystery that remains unsolved. On Thursday, the airline – and the nation – were pitched into another crisis after the same type of aircraft was reported shot down over Ukraine.
As Ukraine and Russia argue over who brought down the plane what’s certain is that the struggling airline and the nation must now prepare for another agonizing encounter with grief, recriminations, international scrutiny and intense legal and diplomatic implications.
Officials say the plane was shot down at an altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet.) The region has seen severe fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists in recent days.
The accident will surely inflict more financial damage on Malaysia Airlines. Even before the March disaster, it reported losses because of stiff competition from budget airlines. Afterward, passengers canceled flights, and even though the airline is insured, it faces uncertainty over pay-outs to the victims’ families.