The Dutch Safety Board has today concluded its 15-month long investigation concerning the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine on 17 July 2014. It has concluded that the event was “caused by the detonation of a 9N314M-type warhead launched from the eastern part of Ukraine using a Buk missile system”.
According to international aviation law, the investigation was not allowed to conclude upon whom was responsible for the crash. However, the report does find that there was already “sufficient reason to close the airspace over the eastern part of Ukraine”. Further, that “the current system of responsibilities with respect to flying over conflict areas is inadequate”. Somewhat disturbingly it also found that “none of the airline carriers operating over the Ukrainian territory recognised the risk posed to overflying civil aircraft by the armed conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine”.
A 279-page investigative report was published detailing all events covered in the investigation. Click here to view.
The report concludes that the Russian-Made Buk Missile that downed the aircraft was launched from a “320-square-kilometre area in the eastern part of Ukraine”. As the missile detonated its warhead above and to the left of the cockpit, the aircraft was “penetrated by hundreds of high-energy objects”, “the three crew members in the cockpit were killed immediately and the aeroplane broke up in the air”. Wreckage from the aircraft “was distributed over various sites within an area of 50 square kilometres”.
The report based its assessment on several sources including data from flight recorders and traces of paint on a number of missile fragments found that matched the paint on parts of a missile recovered from the area by the Dutch Safety Board. “No scenario other than a Buk surface-to-air missile can explain this combination of facts” stated the press release accompanying the reports.
The Dutch Safety Board has over the previous months reconstructed the front part of the aircraft, at the Dutch air base of Gilze-Rijen. They have also produced a 20-minute long animation that was today released in conjunction with the 279-page report. Seen above.
Russian Buk manufacturer disputes Dutch Safety Boards conclusion
Earlier today Almaz-Antey, the Russian producer of the Buk missile systems released findings that contradict the assessment of the Dutch Safety Board. According to two experiments simulating explosions near MH17, they determined the missile was an older BUK model 9M38. It also contended that the missile was fired from an area under Ukrainian forces’ control, contesting the inconclusive findings of the Dutch-led investigation.