A Malaysian airplane has been allegedly shot down to the north of Torez in the region of Ukraine. The town is called Shaktersk and in the video below, plumes of smoke can be seen billowing from the crash site. The area is on the border of Ukraine and Russia, in a location where pro-Russia militant separatist forces have been in control. The Ukrainian Prime Minister has called for a full investigation into the incident.
The plane belonged to Malaysia Airlines, and could have been flight MH17, which left Amsterdam and was heading to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. According to the Telegraphs‘s transport editor, Nick Collins, the moniker MH17 is a codeshare between Malaysian Airlines KLM, the official airlines of the Netherlands. The Malaysian airplane was reportedly a Boeing 777 and was carrying 295 passengers, 15 of which were crew members. According to a Ukrainian interior ministry official, there are no survivors. A Reuters reporter on the ground in Ukraine has said that they see bodies on the ground and the clear wreckage of an airplane.
According to an adviser for the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s Facebook page, the Malaysian airplane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet, when it was hit Thursday by a missile fired from a BUK launcher. A BUK launcher is a medium range class of surface to air missiles developed by the former Soviet Union to engage and ultimately shoot down a variety of flying objects including, but not limited to, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and regular aircraft. A similar surface to air missile launcher was reportedly seen by an Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne earlier on Thursday.The Russian network TV Zvezda, the official news network of the Russian military, reported on June 29, that a BUK launcher had fallen into separatist hands.
On July 8, the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine closed down the airspace to all civilian aircraft after a military transport plane was shot down previously. Reports coming out of the area say that military engagements between pro-Russian forces and those in Ukraine have intensified in the past month. A few days ago, on July 14, a Ukrainian military jet allegedly was shot down, which experts are saying could have only happened from sophisticated military technology.
If the Malaysian airplane was indeed shot down by either Russian or Ukrainian forces, it would likely cause an international incident. President Obama had planned on traveling to Delaware and New York on Thursday to talk about the domestic economy in America, but could be dealing with a full-blown international incident by night’s end. According to Ben Martin, the market reporter for the Telegraph, the price of gold has surged in the past hour as more news comes about about the alleged plane being shot down. Gold is an asset that is considered a safe haven in turbulent time.
If the plane only crashed and was not shot down, it could shed some light on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which was also a Boeing 777. The Malaysian airplane and was traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, when it disappeared somewhere over the ocean, but has not been found. The Malaysian Prime Mister has just spoken out saying he is shocked that another Malaysian plane has crashed, and like the Ukrainian Prime Minister, has called for a full investigation. There is still no official word if the Malaysian airplane was shot down or crashed due to other circumstance in Ukraine.
By B. Taylor Rash