Call it shocking, label it butchery. Flight MH17 tragically ended near the Ukraine-Russia border in the most undignified manner I can imagine. And just 4 months ago, the strangest aviation mystery of the decade struck home, MH370 still lingering in the back of our heads.
Nearing midnight of 17th of July that fateful Thursday, news of the crash began emerging on my social media feed, each passing minute added details more disturbing than the previous... Ultimately by midnight, it seemed clear to most everyone. MH17 was shot down with very likely no survivors.
How did I took the news? 1st thing I did was to check if one of my friend and senior (a pilot working in MAS) was okay. Turns out he had just checked in Maldives 6 hours ago, so I assumed he wasn't assigned to that flight thankfully. The rest of the night was just me contemplating the news and checking out different news portals on the latest information as to who fired the shot.
I write this now just so that I might relieve some of my frustrations... It greatly troubles me, aviation accidents always troubled me. Fact is that once you're up in the air, the only thing that's keeping you there is a few engines and 2 pilots. Any one of these fail, and you're that much closer to kingdom come. But being shot down? That adds the unprecedented wild-card. That fact had me disturbed the most since hearing the news. I guess I feel that way because it seems like the passengers and crew weren't given a chance, not even a grain of dignified chance to fight for their survival, to hope and cling to the possibility that the pilots can pull off an emergency landing, to use all those years and training in pilot academy to pull off that meagre possibility of a miracle. No, not at all, because it was shot down. Forced to ground without a chance to fight back. Blasted out of the sky if you will. Why am I infuriated? Because they were civilians, and war should never have involved them. This kind of brutality at least, the kind without any hint that it might hit you, it scares me to the core.
I guess the only consolation is that most of the passengers hopefully experienced an unexpected quick death, the kind that they never had anticipated, the one which leaves no room for suffering. I can only hope.
In memory of the victims, here's an article detailing some of them by The Star. Do read them if you have the time, honour their memory by staying strong as a nation and family. It saddens me greatly, and the vividness in all their description just adds a little more to lament for. But they all deserve some peace after this horror, and I do pray for that.