Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Past cases of civilian planes shot down

A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian militants on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard, a Ukrainian interior ministry official said.

We look at past incidents of civilian planes which were shot down:

1954: A Cathay Pacific plane, en route from Bangkok to Hong Kong, was shot down by the People's Liberation Army Air Force. Ten people on board died.

1955: El Al Flight 402, which was flying from Vienna to Tel Aviv via Istanbul, was shot down in Bulgarian airspace by two MiG-15 jets. Seven crew and 51 passengers were killed.

1973: Libyan Airlines Flight 114, on its way from Tripoli to Cairo via Bengazi, was intercepted by two Israeli Phantom jet fighters when it entered Israeli airspace. The passenger plane refused to land and was brought down. Of the 113 people on board, only five survived.

1978: Korean Air Flight 902, from Paris to Seoul, diverted from its planned course and strayed into Soviet airspace. The plane was shot down by Soviet Sukhoi fighters near Murmansk and made an emergency landing on a frozen lake. Miraculously, all but two survived.

1983: Korean Air Flight 007, with 269 passengers on board, was travelling from New York to Seoul via Anchorage. It reportedly flew off course, entered prohibited Soviet airspace and was shot down by a Soviet fighter jet near Sakhalin island. There were no survivors.

1980: What caused Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 to crash remained a mystery. An unknown object was seen approaching the aircraft, which was on its way from Bologna to Palermo, Italy, and it disappeared from radar screens shortly after. All 81 people on board were killed.

In January 2013, Italy's top criminal court ruled in 2013 that there was "abundantly" clear evidence that a stray missile caused the passenger jet to crash into the Mediterranean Sea.

One theory is that it was shot down by NATO forces or jet fighters. But NATO officials have denied carrying out military activity in the skies that night.

1988: Iran Air Flight 655, flying from Tehran to Dubai, was shot down by US Navy guided missile cruiser, USS Vincennes. The US government said the Vincennes, which was in Iranian waters, believed it was under attack by Iranian fighter jets. All 290 crew and passengers were killed.

2001: Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 was flying from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk, Russia, when it exploded at more than 35,000 feet and disintegrated into the Black Sea. All 12 crew and 66 passengers were killed.

The Ukrainian authorities denied at first but later admitted its military mistakenly shot down the plane with surface-to-air missile during a training exercise.