MH17 crash: History of passenger planes shot down
- 20 July 2014
- From the section Asia
Amid reports that a Malaysia Airlines plane which crashed in eastern Ukraine was shot down, the BBC looks at previous incidents involving passenger planes.
Siberian Airlines Flight 1812, Oct 2001
A Siberian Airlines plane was heading to Novosibirsk, Russia from Tel Aviv, Israel when it was shot down and crashed into the Black Sea on 4 October, 2001. All 78 passengers onboard were killed. The Ukrainian military denied its involvement at first.
However, Ukrainian officials later admitted that its military could have mistakenly shot the plane down during a training exercise, and some compensation was paid to victims's relatives.
Three Transair Georgia planes, Sep 1993
A total of 136 people died when three Tupolev civilian airliners belonging to Transair Georgia were hit by rebel missiles and gunfire in the breakaway region of Abkhazia during its war of independence with Georgia.
The first plane, a T-134 flying from Russia, was struck on approach to Abkhazia's Sukhumi airport on 21 September. The jet crashed into the Black Sea, claiming the lives of all five crew members and 22 passengers.
The following day, a T-154 was shot down while attempting to land at Sukhumi airport. The attack killed 108 of the 132 people on board. And on 23 September, passengers were boarding an aircraft at Sukhumi when it was struck and caught fire, leaving one crew member dead.
Iran Air Flight 655, July 1988
An Iran Air Airbus A300, which was bound for Dubai, was shot down in airspace above the Gulf on 3 July, 1988. The plane was mistaken for an F-14 fighter plane that had been sold to Iran before the 1979 revolution. An American cruiser, USS Vincennes launched two missiles at the plane, downing it and killing all 290 passengers and crew onboard.
Iran condemned the incident, calling it a "criminal act", an "atrocity" and a "massacre", while the US insisted it was a misunderstanding. The case led Iran to begin legal proceedings against the US in the International Court of Justice in 1996. The American government later compensated the families of victims.
Korean Airlines Flight 007, Sept 1983
A Korean Airlines passenger jet, which was travelling to Seoul, South Korea from New York, was shot down by a Soviet fighter plane on 1 September, 1983, killing all 269 passengers and crew on board. The plane was shot when it veered off-course and strayed into Soviet territory.
Soviet leaders initially denied knowledge of the incident but later admitted the country's role, claiming that the aircraft had been on a spy mission.
Air Rhodesia Flights 825 and 827, Sept 1978 and Feb 1979
Both planes were shot down by in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, by guerrillas in the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (Zipra).
The shootings took place during the country's civil war in the 1970s.
There were 56 people on board Air Rhodesia flight 825 when it came under missile attack on 3 September 1978. Eighteen people survived the initial crash, although 10 of them were later killed by rebels.
Flight 827 was also hit by a missile on 12 February 1979. All 59 people on the plane were killed in the crash.
Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114, Feb 1973
A Libyan Airlines Boeing 727-200 plane was shot down by Israeli fighters in Egypt's Sinai Desert on 21 February, 1973. It was believed that the pilots got lost due to bad weather and equipment failure over northern Egypt, resulting in the plane entering Israeli-controlled airspace over the Sinai desert.
After firing warning shots and giving signals to land, two Israeli fighter jets shot down the plane. Out of 113 people on board, only five, including the co-pilot, survived.
Cathay Pacific Airways C-54, July 1954
On 23 July 1954 a Cathay Pacific C-54 Skymaster carrying 19 passengers and crew was flying from Bangkok to Hong Kong when it was shot down by a mainland Chinese Army fighter plane off the coast of Hainan Island. Ten people died.
China said it had mistaken the plane for a military aircraft on an attack mission.