One week ago, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, a Boeing 737-800, was shot down shortly after departing Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport. 176 people were killed in the incident and Iran admitted it accidentally shot the aircraft down three days later, attributing it to human error. Western sources believe the 737 was struck by a Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile operated by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The tragic incident came amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran and it brings back memories of MH17's shootdown over Ukraine in July 2014. In that case, an investigation concluded that the Boeing 777 was struck by a Russian BUK surface-to-air missile, with 298 fatalities, a conclusion Moscow denies.
The following infographic looks at other airliner shootdowns since the mid-1950s. Before MH17, the shootdown of Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988 was the deadliest incident on record. The Airbus A300 was shot down by U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Vincennes, killing all 290 people onboard after the ship allegedly incorrectly identified the airliner as an Iranian F-14 fighter jet. The third-worst incident was the shootdown of Korean Air Lines Flight 007. On 1 September 1983, the Boeing 747 deviated into Soviet airspace before being shot down by Su-15 interceptors, killing all 269 people onboard.