In a preliminary accident report of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 released by the Dutch Security Board on Tuesday, investigators said the Boeing 777 “broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.”
The report did not, however, assign blame for the fatal event or address widespread claims that the airplane was brought down by a surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists inside Ukraine.
Along with the findings of “no evidence of technical or human error,” the report presents a grim picture of the moments following ATC’s loss of contact with the airplane and the ensuing search for the airplane. All 298 people on board the 777, which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, were killed on July 17 when the airplane broke up over the eastern portion of Ukraine.
Dutch investigators have not yet visited the crash site due to the ongoing conflict in the country. The 777’s black boxes were delivered to investigators a week following the accident.
The MH17 accident followed just months after another Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Six months later, what happened to the airplane, which was never found, remains unknown.
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