Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in eastern Ukraine, near the country’s border with Russia, after being shot down by a missile July 17. According to Skift, Russian news agency Interfax was the first to report of the incident. The plane was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when the tragedy occurred.
Several other global news reports, including CNN, The New York Times and The Guardian, reported that Ukraine’s interior minister Anton Gerashchenko said pro-Russian militants were the cause of the accident.
Skift reported that separatist officials in that region of the country denied having anything to do with the crash that killed 298 passengers and crew members who were onboard.
The plane was reportedly flying at nearly 33,000 feet when it was hit by the missile. The source stated that Malaysia is opening an investigation into the cause of the crash.
“We must and we will find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone will be left unturned,” Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said in a statement. “If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice,” Najib said.
The region is currently under high geopolitical tensions following months of military activities between Russia and the Ukraine.
According to Skift, the European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell is in charge of airspace closure
Airlines avoiding Ukrainian airspace
As a result of the tragedy, the following airlines are avoiding Ukrainian airspace:
- British Airways
- Air France
- Turkish Airways
In addition to these carriers, all U.S. airlines are also avoiding Ukrainian airspace. There has been no official restriction in regards to flying over the region, but the airlines are voluntarily taking the precautions in rerouting flights.
Individuals who are heading on international business travel may find their flights are sent on different paths in order to avoid the dangerous area.