Donetsk: A Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 280 passengers and 15 crew members crashed on July 17 in Ukraine near the Russian border. Malaysia Airlines confirmed that it received a notification from Ukrainian Air Traffic Control (ATC) regarding its flight MH17 had gone off the radar.
The aircraft was “shot down” over Ukraine by “terrorists” operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system, according to the Facebook page of Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. The Boeing 777 crashed in a conflict-hit zone near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine while cruising at an altitude of 30,000 feet.
Ukrainian interior ministry said in a tweet that all 295 people on board are feared dead. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said, “We do not exclude that the plane was shot down and confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky.”
This is the second major tragedy for Malaysia Airlines this year after flight MH370 with 227 passengers on board went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing March 8 and has still not been traced.
A 24-year-old Ontario medical student was among the 298 people killed
By Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
A 24-year-old Ontario medical student was among the 298 people killed when a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed over Ukraine, his family said Friday.
Andrei Anghel was studying in Romania but was travelling to Bali on that flight for a vacation, his father Sorin Anghel said. He was with his girlfriend, who he had met in Romania, the father said.
“We got the information that the flight was shot down and we knew that he took that flight so we just assumed. Later we got the confirmation, from actually Durham police came here and they gave us the official,” Anghel said, trailing off.
The airline has said at least one Canadian was on board the Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight that was brought down Thursday.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement expressing shock and sadness about the tragedy and said Canada is willing to assist authorities in determining the cause of the crash.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne tweeted her condolences Friday.
“So sad to hear Andrei Anghel from Ajax was on the Malaysian flight,” the premier wrote on Twitter. “Our thoughts are with his family during this tragic time of sorrow.”
Before going to Romania to continue his studies, Anghel graduated with a bachelor of science from the University of Waterloo.
Anghel completed secondary studies at Ajax High School and previously worked as a laboratory assistant at the Canadian Phycological Culture Centre, which provides research quality cultures to educational institutions, government and commercial laboratories worldwide, according to his LinkedIn page.
“I am passionately interested in the science of living things, always questioning. Why do cells strive for life? What defines life?” Anghel wrote on the website.
At least 189 of the victims were from the Netherlands. Passengers on the plane also included 29 Malaysians, 28 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos and one person each from Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong, according to the airlines and those governments. Two passengers’ nationalities remained to be confirmed.
The victims include a large contingent of scientists heading to an AIDS conference in Australia.