A Rundown of Recent Passenger Plane Crashes

A toy was placed at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine Monday, July 21, 2014.
A toy was placed at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine Monday, July 21, 2014. –DMITRY LOVETSKY/ AP

With a string of recent plane crashes, it may seem like a scary time to fly. But air travel remains a fairly safe mode of transport (cars, for example, are eight times as dangerous).

A breakdown of the recent passenger plane crashes:


An Air Algerie flight flying from Burkina Faso to Algeria’s capital disappeared from radar over northern Mali and “probably crashed,’’ according to government officials in France and Burkina Faso.

This photo taken on Friday, May 16, 2014 shows an MD-83 aircraft in the livery of Swiftair landing at Zaventem Airport Brussels. —KEVIN CLEYNHENS/ AP

Cause of crash: To be determined, but the plane sent a message around 9:30 p.m. asking Niger air control to change its route due to “heavy rains.’’


Number of people on board: 116

Death toll: Unknown


A TransAsia Airways plane flying from Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung to Magong airportcrashed while attempting to land on the Taiwanese island of Penghu.

Emergency workers removed the wreckage of crashed TransAsia Airways flight GE222 on the outlying island of Penghu, Taiwan, Thursday, July 24, 2014. —WALLY SANTANA/ AP

Cause of crash: Also yet to be determined. There was heavy rain, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, but Jean Shen, Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration Director told reporters that visibility at the airport during the plane’s attempted landing was 1 mile, which is considered acceptable for landing. The domestic flight had been delayed due to Typhoon Matmo.

Number of people on board: 58

Death toll: 48


A Malaysia Airlines plane flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over a part of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

A Malaysian air crash investigator worked at a crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove. —MAXIM ZMEYEV/ REUTERS

Cause of crash: The jetliner was shot down by a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile, according to Ukrainian and American officials. It is still unclear who shot down the plane, but senior US intelligence officials told the Associated Press that Russia-backed rebels in the region were likely responsible, and that they found “no direct link between Russia and the shootdown.’’

Number of people on board: 298

Death toll: 298


Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Its location is still unknown, but the plane is believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean roughly 1,000 miles west of Perth.

The HMAS Perth coasted through the southern Indian Ocean as an Orion P-3K of the Royal New Zealand Air Force searched for debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370. —AFP/GETTY

Cause of crash: Yet to be determined. The jet lost contact about 40 minutes into a flight. Malaysian officials, authorities from 26 other nations, and experts from around the world have been trying to figure out what happened ever since.

Number of people on board: 239

Death toll: 239 (assumed)

These tragedies may put fliers on edge, but according to the AP, there have only been two deaths for every 100 million passengers on commercial flights in the last decade.

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