Tags: germany | mh17 | ukraine | warning | flying

Germany's MH17 Warning: Govt Alerted to Ukraine Flight Risk Before Downing

Image: Germany's MH17 Warning: Govt Alerted to Ukraine Flight Risk Before Downing
Part of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site. (Alexander Khudoteply/AFP/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Monday, 27 Apr 2015 03:00 PM

The German government was warned about the risk of flying over Ukrainian air space just days before Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down, killing all 298 on board.

The German media has reported that diplomatic cables were sent July 15, just two days before MH17 was downed, indicating the risk of flying over the rebel-held territory, pointing specifically to a Ukrainian air force plane that was shot down on July 14, the Daily Mail reported.

The German newspaper Sueddeutsch Zeitung said the government was notified of the danger, but that information was not passed to airlines. Cables reportedly said the air situation over Ukraine had become “very alarming,” SZ noted.

The BBC said the downing of the air force plane was considered significant at the time because it was flying at 20,000 feet. The Malaysia Airlines flight was at a 33,000-foot altitude when it was hit.

Three Lufthansa flights had passed over the area the same day that MH17 was shot down, BBC said. An unidentified Lufthansa source told the media site that no communication of a change in the safety of air travel was relayed to the airlines by German intelligence.

“If the government had given our company a warning with an advisory of 'new status,' then certainly Lufthansa would not have flown over eastern Ukraine any more," the source told BBC.

Stephen Hobe, director of the Institute of Aviation Law in Germany, told SZ that if the government had such information, it would have the option of changing flight routes or even mandating changes.

Dutch officials are leading an investigation into who is responsible for downing MH17. A group identifying the remains from the crash made the news last week after one of the team members showed photos of victims and body parts while teaching a class, Agence France-Presse reported.

George Maas, a senior Dutch forensic expert, was suspended from his work, AFP said. He had permission to show photos to students, but he showed them at a meeting attended by the public.

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The German government was warned about the risk of flying over Ukrainian air space just days before Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down, killing all 298 on board.
germany, mh17, ukraine, warning, flying
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2015-00-27
Monday, 27 Apr 2015 03:00 PM
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