MH17 animation: flight wasn’t the only plane blown up by a missile from Ukraine

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 wasn't the first passenger airplane to be blown out of the sky in and around Ukrainian air space. There is a history of jets being downed in the region, including a Siberia Airlines passenger jet on October 4, 2001.

Siberia Airlines Flight 1812, a Soviet-made Tupolev Tu-154, departed from Tel Aviv, Israel and was headed toward Novosibirsk, Russia when the Russian ground control center in Sochi suddenly lost contact with the aircraft over the Black Sea.

The plane was reportedly at an altitude of about 36,000 ft when it disappeared.

A Russian report later confirmed an American military assessment that an S-200 missile that was being used in military training exercises in Crimea blew the plane out of the sky. The missile reportedly overshot its target drone, which was destroyed successfully by an S-300 fired at the same time.

Meanwhile, the S-200 missile did not self-destruct and locked in on the Siberia Airlines passenger plane 150 miles further away instead. It exploded roughly 50 feet over the plane, sending debris and shrapnel into the aircraft.

The pilot of an Armenian plane that was crossing the sea nearby reported seeing the Russian plane explode before it crashed into the sea about 1.45 p.m. Moscow time.

Ukraine ultimately paid $15 million to the surviving family members of the 78 victims of the accident, or roughly $200,000 per victim.


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