Dutch Safety Board to release final report on downing of MH17

2015-10-13 10:30

Amsterdam - The Dutch Safety Board will Tuesday present its final report into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine last year.

The report, to be released first to the victims' families at the Gilze-Rijen military airport in the country's south, is to answer whether the Boeing 777 was hit by a Russian-made surface-to-air Buk missile.

Almaz-Antey, the maker of the Buk missile system, will publish its own findings on Tuesday.

The Dutch report will not assign blame for the crash, but the United States and Ukraine have accused pro-Russian separatist rebels of downing the jet. Russia has blamed Ukraine for the crash.

MH17 was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in rebel-controlled territory on July 17 2014.

All 298 people on board were killed: 193 Dutch, 43 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, a Canadian and a New Zealander.

In its preliminary report released in September 2014, the Dutch Safety Board said that MH17 broke up in the air, probably after being hit by "a large number of high-energy objects."

Images of the wreckage showed that it was pierced from the outside in numerous places, causing the Boeing 777 to break up in flight, its report said.

That initial report found no evidence that the crash resulted from a technical problem or crew error.

The black boxes and the plane's communications with air traffic controllers showed no emergency or technical problems. Rather, the flight was operating normally until "it ended abruptly," the report said.

The investigators believe the plane broke up in flight because wreckage was scattered over a large area, communications with air-traffic controllers suddenly halted, it disappeared from radar, and black box data ended abruptly.

Other countries contributing to the Dutch investigation include Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Russia, Britain and the United States.

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