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Explaining how Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down

Key findings of the investigation by Dutch Safety Board, announced on Tuesday.

By: Agencies | Updated: October 15, 2015 8:56:11 am
MH17, MH17 crash, MH17 Buk Missle, malaysian airlines MH17, MH17 shot down, MH17 reports, World news The Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday that the MH17 was shot down in its final report on the July 2014 crash that killed all 298 aboard.

AIRCRAFT
* Boeing 777-200ER
* Left Amsterdam at 10.31 GMT (4.01 pm IST)
* Due to reach Kuala Lumpur 6.10 am local time (3.40 am IST) on July 18

EXPLOSION
Missile exploded less than 1 m from aircraft, just above and to left of cockpit. 800-odd fragments smashed into aircraft, tearing off its cockpit and business class. Three cockpit crew killed instantly; shrapnel found in their bodies. Wingtips then came off, followed by tail section, finally main portion of fuselage. Parts of aircraft hit the ground 60-90 seconds after front portion came off.

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PASSENGERS

Would have heard a very loud noise, felt a surge of extremely cold air. Most would have become unconscious almost immediately. It remains unclear when deaths came, but some might have remained unconscious for part of the one-and-a-half minutes it took the aircraft fragments to hit the ground. A body was found wearing an oxygen mask around the neck, suggesting passenger was alive for some time.

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BLAME

Was not fixed by the Board. But it said a 9N314M warhead on a 9M38M1 missile, of the type installed on the Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile system, brought the aircraft down. Cube- and bowtie-shaped fragments were embedded in bodies of cockpit crew, found only in the 9N314M warhead. The missile was launched somewhere in a 320 sq km area in eastern Ukraine. The government of Ukraine should not have allowed commercial flights in its airspace, and Malaysia Airlines and international aviation bodies should have been more mindful of the risks, the Board said.

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‘NO WAY’

Russian state-controlled missilemaker Almaz-Antey rejected the Dutch probe’s conclusions.

* Experiment in which a Buk was detonated near the nose of a similar aircraft showed a different pattern of submunitions damage than seen on the remnants of MH17.

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* Experiment showed missile couldn’t have been fired from Snizhne, then under rebel control; if indeed Buk, it was fired from Zaroshenske, then under Ukrainian govt control.

* 9M38M1 missile has no H-shaped (or bowtie/butterfly shaped) striking elements. The only weapons with such fragments are the older 9M38 missiles which Russian forces no longer use, but some of which Kiev’s forces may still have.

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