Boeing 777 crash: Shahen Petrosyan blames several sides for tragedy

Shahen Petrosyan, former head of the General Department of Armenia’s Civil Aviation, blames the the Malaysia Airlines Boeing crash in Ukraine on several sides.

“Russia is the first guilty side, the main accomplice, the blunt instrument that targeted at a military transport aircraft IL-76 but, I do not know why, its rocket hit a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet carrying 298 people on board.  Ukraine also has its share of guilt as it did not announce that it closed its airspace over eastern Ukraine for civil aviation during the conflict. Finally neither International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) nor Eurocontrol, a Brussels-based agency that manages European air traffic, did anything to avert the crash,” Mr Petrosyan wrote on his Facebook page.

Several airlines altered their flight paths some time ago to avoid Ukrainian air space after fighting flared up in the region.

The issue of whether to avoid flying over conflict zones has come into sharp focus after the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on Thursday. International civil aviation regulators had imposed no restrictions on crossing an area where pro-Russian rebels are fighting Ukrainian forces, and the majority of carriers had continued to use a route popular with long-distance flights from Europe to Southeast Asia before the Malaysia Airlines plane crashed on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

The Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. It fell between Krasni Luch in Luhansk region and Shakhtarsk in the neighbouring region of Donetsk.

Latest figures released by Malaysia Airlines show the plane was carrying 189 Dutch nationals, 27 Australians, 44 Malaysians (including 15 crew), 12 Indonesians and 10 Britons, as well as a number of other nationalities.