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Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 downed by Russian-made 9M38 Buk missile

Destroyed by a Russian missile

Share on Facebook October 14, 2015, Reporter : BigNewsNet/UPI, Reader : 759


THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The Dutch Safety Board said Tuesday that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which went down a year ago near the Russia-Ukraine border, was destroyed by a Russian missile.

The plane was hit by a Russian-made 9M38 Buk missile, investigators concluded in the report. The missile hit the front left part of the plane, which broke off entirely.

The Dutch Safety Board said airspace over the area should have been closed.

The investigation was carried out by representatives from the Netherlands, Ukraine, Malaysia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Russia.

The plane was in proper condition and taking a standard route to Asia from Europe. While over Ukraine, MH17 was flying above restricted airspace, due to armed conflict.

"When Flight MH17 is above the eastern part of Ukraine, a Buk surface-to-air missile system fires a missile," the Dutch Safety Board said. "Radar-guided to its target, where it is detonated by means of proximity fuse."

"At 20 minutes and three seconds past 1 p.m., this warhead explodes to the left and above the cockpit," the report said. "About 800 pre-formed fragments [shrapnel] perforate the airplane. This impact, combined with the blast of the explosion, causes the cockpit and the business-class section to separate."

"As it descends, the airplane disintegrates," the report said.

The board has been investigating the crash of the Boeing 777 since the aircraft went down in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

The flight was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Nearly 200 of the people on board were Dutch citizens.

While the report confirms that Flight 17 was downed by a missile -- a theory investigators believed possible from the start -- it does not address who was responsible for firing the missile.

Ukrainian officials and Western allies believe it was Russia-backed rebels who fired the missile, while Moscow believes Ukraine was responsible.

"Either way, the Buk was developed and produced in Russia. You can assume that those rebels can't control a Buk device themselves. I suspect they did with the help of former Russian soldiers," two sources told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant.

The crash of Flight 17 occurred about four months after another Malaysia Airlines 777, Flight 370, disappeared during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Debris from Flight 370 began washing onto the shore of the French island Runion in the western Indian Ocean in July -- nearly 17 months after the plane disappeared.

The Dutch Safety Board released a video explaining the circumstances surrounding the downfall of MH17.Doug G. Ware and Andrew V. Pestano>BNN

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