Malaysian Airlines Crash Probe Ends – Blames Russian-Made Missile

The findings of a 15-month inquiry investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 flying over eastern Ukraine has concluded that the aircraft was hit by a Russian-made missile.

The board, comprised of a five-nation investigative team led by Dutch air accident investigators, said evidence was found in distinctive shrapnel patterns in the cockpit area of the aircraft, as well as shrapnel extracted from the body of the pilot.

The investigators examined several tons of debris and human remains –even reconstructing what they could of the aircraft as part of the study.


“Flight MH17 crashed as a result of the detonation of a warhead outside the airplane above the left-hand side of the cockpit,” said Tjibbe Joustra, chairman of the Dutch Safety Board.

The explosion impact tore off the forward part of the plane, which broke up in the air. The crash took the lives of all 298 people aboard with the investigation concluding that many passengers died instantly, while others quickly lost consciousness due to the high altitude atmosphere.

“It is likely that the occupants were barely able to comprehend their situation,” the board reported.

Russia balks at crash theory

The board stopped short of pointing a finger of responsibility for the crash, leaving that to Dutch prosecutors to decide. The theory is, however, consistent with that made by authorities in the United States and the Ukraine — both who content that the Boeing 777, was shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile launcher operated by Russian-backed separatists.


Russia has adamantly rejected the theory –offering the competing view that the missile was fired from Ukrainian-held territory, and that the SA-11 is no longer used in Russia’s arsenal.

Passengers on the flight, which was en route to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from Amsterdam, were citizens of roughly a dozen countries; 193 of those aboard were Dutch.

The board was especially critical of Ukrainian authorities allowed flights to pass through a combat zone. The board said found that 160 civil flights passed through the zone on the day of the crash before the airspace was closed.

“Why was Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 flying over an area where an armed conflict was taking place?” Mr. Joustra asked.

“The question was on the minds of many people after the crash. The answer was as straightforward as it is disquieting: Almost all operators were flying over that area. And why? Because nobody thought that civil aviation was at risk.”

The Staff

The Staff

Gettin' it done, when the done needs gettin'.

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