Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 (Flight MH17) was a passenger flight that flew over a war torn region and was shot down by a Buk surface-to-air missile system in the East Ukraine. The plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, and its destruction killed the 298 people aboard. What remained of that plane rained down on Hrabove village in the Donetsk region.
The flight had two copilots: Ahmad Hakimi Hanapi and Muhd Firdaus Abdul Rahim, and two captains: Wan Amran Wan Hussin from Kuala Kangsar and Eugene Choo Jin Leong from Seremban.
The Russian government blamed the Ukrainian government because the incident happened in Ukrainian airspace. The Ukraine says Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade shot down MH17. Russians and Russian separatists continue finger pointing at each other for the responsibility for the crash. The Dutch, who control the investigation, involved 24 experts from Russia, Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Dutch Safety Board’s subsequent report that came out in July 2015 left many questions; it concluded that the crash was caused by a Buk surface-to-air 9M38-series missile with 9N314M warhead; that the missile struck the left of the cockpit killing the flight crew; impact tore off the cockpit, suffocating the passengers. The board also concluded that the 61 planes which flew in the air zone should have been warned it was not a good route. The UN security tried to establish an international tribunal to investigate, but the attempt was vetoed by Russia. Did Russia deploy this BUK into Ukrainian territory controlled by the outlaw rebels? Did the separatists deploy the BUK mistakenly (or not) into this commercial vessel flying over a war zone?
On 9 April 2015,the Dutch released 569 documents (with personal information redacted) concerning the incident. The Public Prosecution Service of Dutch Ministry of Justice is leading the (ongoing) criminal investigation.
What can the rest of the world do but feel empathy for the families of those who were aboard? Two hundred and eighty-three people, eighty of whom who were under eighteen years old. These people, these fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, sibling, boarded the plane, crew and passenger alike, with no thought but to reach their destination. They never did. Their remains came home in boxes, and some not at all. Now, two years later, the families are still without answers, without resolution.
Tragedy and loss are unspeakable. No humane being can assign a degree to the depth of the loss. Condolences can be offered, and all measures can be taken, but all the money, concern, sympathy and well wishes can ever make a dent in the damage done.