Dutch say "flying objects" brought down MH17 in first official report

Wreckage
. A piece of wreckage from the aircraft, riddled with holes. Source: Twitter/Khabir/@KhabirM

There is no evidence that the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was caused by technical faults or actions by the crew. Instead, there is clearer evidence that the plane disintegrated mid-air due to a large number of "high-energy" flying objects striking the fuselage and cockpit, the first official report into the tragic air crash states.

Read the full report from the Dutch Safety Board below

The report concludes that the the plane was flying normally when its route was abruptly halted in mid-air. "It’s likely that this damage resulted in a loss of structural integrity of the aircraft, leading to an in-flight break up," the Dutch Safety Board stated. "This also explains the abrupt end to the data registration on the recorders, the simultaneous loss of contact with air traffic control and the aircraft's disappearance from radar."

Published Tuesday morning by the Dutch Safety Board, the report pieces together evidence from the cockpit voice recorder, the flight data recorder and details from air traffic control.

The investigation did not see any evidence of early warning from the cockpit nor the Flight Data Recorder. The plane's route was interrupted at 1.20 p.m. local Ukrainian time, at which point calls from the Ukrainian air traffic control were left unanswered.

The investigators conclude that the plane fell apart in mid-air while it was flying at 33,000 feet, "likely as the result of structural damage to the aircraft caused by a large amount of objects that drilled through the aircraft at high speed", the Council states on their website. Evidence of this in-flight break up is also found in the distribution pattern of the wreckage pieces. Available information from Schiphol shows that the Boeing 777 was deemed airworthy, and the pilots were qualified and experienced.

"Damage observed on the forward fuselage and cockpit section of the aircraft appears to indicate that there were impacts from a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft," the report states.

This first report on the tragedy "points to the external cause of the crash", the Council writes. The investigation will continue on, gathering more information from available sources to try and determine the exact cause of the crash, and how the plane disintegrated. "The Council expects additional investigative material to become available in the coming period", and hopes that a more conclusive report can be released within a year.

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