Three Missing Planes

On the 8th of March 2014, Malaysian Airline plane MH370 was reported missing after losing contact with the air traffic controller. Up to this day, the aircraft and the people on it remain unfound. Loud cries were screened on means of news, long awaited family vacations were cancelled, and many hearts were crushed. This was only the first of the three major plane tragedies that befell upon Malaysia. 

It was 1:19 MYT on the 8th of March 2014 when MH370 made its last voice contact with air traffic over the South China Sea. The plane, en route to Beijing China International Airport from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, disappeared less than half an hour after take off and vanished from the air traffic controller's screen at 01:21. The last verbal conversation heard was between the Kuala Lumpur Radar and flight 370. Its last words were from one of the aircraft's pilots whom acknowledged a send off by Kuala Lumpur Radar to Ho Chi Minh ACC. Kuala Lumpur Radar said, "Malaysian three seven zero, contact Ho Chi Minh one two zero decimal nine. Good night". MH370 replied, "Good night. Malaysian three seven zero."

MH370 carried 227 passengers from 15 different countries, including China, Iran and Malaysia itself. The search for the plane was a long and expensive one, costing up to $70 million, as estimated by the TIME magazine. Despite the extensive search, there still has not been traces of flight debris, causing a ripple effect of speculations regarding the missing plane. Due to this, Malaysian Airlines was left to struggle financially and the Malaysian Government was placed on the receiving end of criticism from China and several other countries.

The next tragedy was the brutal destruction of MH17. On the 17th of July 2014, Malaysia received more terrible news when MH17 was shot down in the midst of the battle in Shakhtarsk Raion. There was a short "blame game" between Russia and Ukraine in light of the crash. It was finally decided by the German Federal Intelligence Service that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists using a captured Ukrainian Buk System. They had mistaken MH17 for an enemy plane and had shot the hull of the Malaysian Airline plane. The crash was fatal and killed all 298 passengers and crew.

Although not in Malaysia, the final tragedy was critical enough that it is amongst the most severe tragedies of the year 2014. QZ8501 was an Air Asia plane that had been destroyed by rocky weather on its way from Indonesia to Singapore. The tragedy had left no survivors. However, unlike the MH370, plane debris and bodies were found in the Karimata Strait of the Java Sea. So far, 69 out of the 162 bodies were found and 45 of these bodies have been identified. The flight carried 155 passengers: 137 adults, 17 children, 1 infant and a crew of 2 pilots and 4 flight attendants. Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, Japan, China, the United States, Russia and other countries participated in the search. Oddly enough, the debris of the plane was found by a fisherman whom reported it after he heard of the news.

It is unfortunate to know that higher measures could have been taken to save the lives of the innocent victims. 298 innocent souls might have been saved if it was not for the war between Ukraine and Russia. All the lost families could have created so many memories, all the flight crew could have been reunited with their loved ones, and all the lost lives never got a chance to explore the beauty of life; all are being mourned in sadness and grief instead.


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