Dutch authorities release MH17 probe reports

The Hague, Oct 13 (IANS) Dutch authorities on Tuesday released the findings of their probe into the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash over the conflict-hit region in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, in which all 298 people on board were killed.

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) presented its findings first to the victims’ families and relatives and then to the media at the Gilze-Rijen military base in the Netherlands.

Relatives of the victims have confirmed that the DSB reports concluded that the MH17 was hit by a Russian-made Buk missile, The Guardian reported.

Speaking to reporters in the Hague after being shown early copies of the report, relatives also revealed that all the passengers died or lost consciousness as soon as the missile hit. Buk missile shrapnel was found inside the bodies of some of the crew members.

The investigators are due to release an animated simulation of what they think happened to MH17.

Barry Sweeney, whose son Liam died in the crash, told BBC that according to investigators, the cockpit was hit first and broke off from the rest of the plane.

“It hit the cockpit first, killing all three in the cockpit. The cockpit then broke off probably creating confusion in the rest of the plane. Hopefully most people were unconscious by the time this happened.”

“We can’t be 100 percent sure (that nobody suffered on the flight) but we’ve got to sort of think that was the case.”

He said investigators concluded that the missile was fired from a 320 km.sq. area.

Sweeney said the relatives would have to wait for the criminal report early next year to find out more about what happened.

The flight was en route from Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur and was travelling over the conflict-hit Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 when it came down. Those killed in the crash comprised 283 passengers – of which 80 were children – and 15 crew members.

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