Flight MH17 Downed By 'High-Energy Objects'

Pieces of the fuselage were punctured and the scattering of wreckage over a large area indicated it broke up in flight.

Crash investigators say flight MH17 was probably downed by "a large number of high-energy objects".

An initial report by the Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the investigation into the July 17 disaster, found it likely the Malaysia Airlines plane broke up in the air as a result of "structural damage", caused by the items which "penetrated the aircraft from outside".

The fuselage of the passenger plane had numerous puncture holes

Available images showed pieces of the aircraft fuselage were pierced in numerous places, while the pattern of wreckage on the ground, scattered over a large area, indicated it had broken up in flight.

This would also explain the abrupt end to the recording of flight data on the plane's black boxes, the loss of contact with air traffic control, and the plane's disappearance from radar.

Penetration marks on the MH17 fuselage

The report said: "There are no indications that the MH17 crash was caused by a technical fault or by actions of the crew."

All 298 passengers and crew on board the plane were killed when the aircraft, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over an area in eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

Following the publication of the report, the rebels denied they had the military equipment capable of bringing down a passenger plane.

Wreckage was scattered over a large area indicating it broke up in flight

But the preliminary findings are consistent with the claims it had been hit by a ground-to-air missile.

Tjibbe Joustra, chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, said: "The MH17 crash has shocked the world and raised many questions.

"The Dutch Safety Board wishes to determine the cause of the crash, for the sake of the loved ones of the victims and for society at large.

Newcastle fans Liam Sweeney and John Alder were among the victims

"The initial results of the investigation point towards an external cause of the MH17 crash.

"More research will be necessary to determine the cause with greater precision.

"The Safety Board believes that additional evidence will become available for investigation in the period ahead."

The body aims to publish its final report into the crash by next July.

Only 193 of those on board the Malaysia Airlines jet have been positively identified, including Newcastle United fans Liam Sweeney, 28, and John Alder, 63, who were travelling to New Zealand to watch their team play.

A memorial in Kuala Lumpur to the victims of both MH17 and MH370

Forensic teams are still trying to identify remains found in the wreckage of the aircraft.

Most of those on board were Dutch, but there were also people from Malaysia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, New Zealand, the Philippines and the UK.

The crash occurred just months after the still-unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March.

The airliner disappeared with 239 people aboard - 153 of them Chinese - after flying far off course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Source Sky News
Flight MH17 Downed By 'High-Energy Objects' Reviewed by The Riddler on 10:03:00 PM Rating: 5

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