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Published: Friday July 25, 2014 MYT 9:29:00 AM
Updated: Friday July 25, 2014 MYT 12:29:23 PM

2014: A tragic year for aviation

PETALING JAYA: The year 2014 has shaped up to be a tragic one so far for the aviation industry, with at least 851 people confirmed dead.

These are the some of the deadly air accidents so far as of July this year:

Feb 11 – Algerian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules

On February 11, an Algerian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft crashed into Djebel Fertas, a mountain in the Oum El Bouaghi Province, Algeria. The C-130 was carrying 78 people on board, 74 passengers and four crew.

Rescue teams found one survivor and 77 bodies at the site, with preliminary reports indicating poor weather conditions caused the crash, as eyewitnesses reported seeing the plane clipping a mountain prior to the crash.

Feb 16 – Nepal Airlines Flight 183

In this incident a Nepal Airlines de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter crashed in the jungle near  Dhikura VDC. This is approximately 74 kilometres south-west of Pokhara, Nepal, on 16 February 2014.

All 18 people on board - 15 passengers and three crew - died in the crash. The crew were attempting to divert to Bhairahawa Airport because of the weather conditions.

March 8 – Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370

MH370 was a Boeing 777 carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew. It left the KL International Airport at 12.41am  on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.

A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors - the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch  concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24 - 17 days after the disappearance of the aircraft - that Flight MH370 "ended in the southern Indian Ocean. The wreckage of the plane has yet to be recovered.

May 17 – Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force An-74 crash

In this crash, an Antonov An-74 airplane of the Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force crashed in northern Laos, killing 16 out of the 17 on board. The flight was headed to Xiangkhouang Province, carrying members of Laos's Cabinet to a ceremony celebrating the 55th anniversary of the second division of the Lao People's Army.

Among the dead were Deputy Prime Minister Douangchay Phichit and four other senior members of the administration.

June 14 – Ukrainian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76

On June 14,  forces of the Lugansk People's Republic shot down a Ukrainian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76MD which was on approach to land at Luhansk International Airport, also in the Ukraine, killing all 49 on board.

The aircraft, which had 40 passengers and 9 crew  was participating in Ukranian anti-insurgency operations against the Lugansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic, in its eastern Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. It was carrying troops and equipment from an undisclosed location.

The Il-76 came under heavy fire as it approached Luhansk airport, with a machine gun firing on it, along with man-portable surface to air missiles - which ultimately brought it down.

July 17 – Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17

MH17, a Boeing 777-200ER airliner was shot down on July 17 while on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The crash, which killed all 298 on board is believed to have been caused by a Buk surface to air missile. MH17 went down about 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border, near Hrabove in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. This is an area controlled by the pro-Russia Donbass People's Militia, in a conflict zone between the militia and the Ukraine government.

Russia has denied involvement in the crash, with its envoy to Malaysia saying there was false evidence against Russia over the tragedy.

MAS has since announced that would retire flight number MH17 and change the Amsterdam–Kuala Lumpur route to flight number MH19 from July 25.

July 23 – TransAsia Airways Flight GE222

The flight from Kaohsiung International Airport to Magong Airport in the Penghu island chain crashed while trying to land after aborting the first attempt during thunder and heavy rain as Typhoon Matmo pounded Taiwan.

The ATR 72-500 propeller plane was carrying 54 passengers and four crew members when it plunged into eight houses in Magong on its way from Kaohsiung in southwestern Taiwan, injuring five people on the ground.

Forty-eight people were killed, while 10 survived the crash.

July 24 – Air Algerie Flight AH5017

An Air Algerie flight crashed in Mali on Thursday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 116 on board. Swiftair, the private Spanish company that owns the plane, confirmed on the same day it had lost contact with the MD-83 operated by Air Algerie, which it said was carrying 110 passengers and six crew.

The passenger list included 50 French, 24 Burkinabe, eight Lebanese, four Algerians, two from Luxembourg, one Belgian, one Swiss, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian, one Ukrainian and one Romanian.

However, the final casualty toll has yet to be confirmed.

It had been reported that Burkino Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedrago said it asked to change route at 0138 GMT because of a storm in the area.

Latest reports indicate that all 116 on board are believed to have perished.

Tags / Keywords: Transport & Safety, MH17 crash, Ukraine, MAS, air crash, aviation

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