MH17 hit by Buk missile system: Dutch Safety Board

Updated: 2015-10-13 20:39


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MH17 hit by Buk missile system: Dutch Safety Board

The reconstructed airplane serves as a backdrop during the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. [Photo]

GILZE-RIJEN AIR BASE, Noord-Brabant, The Netherlands -- The Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crash was caused by a Buk missile system, the Dutch Safety Board concluded in one of its final reports published on Tuesday.

"The in-flight breakup of the aircraft near the Ukrainian/Russian border was caused by the detonation of a warhead close to the left front of the plane," Safety Board director Tjibbe Joustra said. "The weapon used was a warhead model 9N314M a missile 9M38 series, as installed on the Buk surface-to-air missile system."

"Additional forensic is needed to determine the location of the launch," Joustra added. "That is outside the mandate of the Dutch Safety Board."

The Dutch Safety Board led the investigation on the cause of the crash and Joustra made public the long-awaited findings during a presentation at Gilze-Rijen Airbase on Tuesday.

Prior to the official publication of the final reports, around 600 relatives were informed about the conclusions of the investigation during a closed information meeting at the World Forum in The Hague. According to the relatives, the reports stated that occupants of the Malaysian Airlines flight lost consciousness seconds after the impact of a missile, with the cockpit crew being killed instantly.

The Boeing 777 Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 last year on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people on board died.

On Sept. 9 last year the DSB already issued its first preliminary report, stating the crash had an external cause, probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.

The answer to the questions of blame or liability is still open. Answering those questions is a matter for criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), led by the Dutch national police and prosecutor.

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