As many have speculated, the Dutch Safety Board Report have found that a Russian made BUK missile brought down the plane. The missile travelling at three times the speed of sound exploded just above the cockpit of MH17 at an altitude of 10.1km (33, 000 feet).
Eight hundred pre-formed fragments in the missile punctured the plane bringing it down in one and a half minutes. The three crew members in the cockpit were killed immediately. The Board found multiple missile fragments in their bodies.
This video shows the painstaking reconstruction of the Malaysian 777:
The speed of impact on the ground meant the 777’s crash was unsurvivable. The aeroplane came down in six sites in a 50 kilometre (30 miles) radius. The middle section exploded in a fireball on the ground. Tragically, some passengers could have been alive through the disintegration of the 777 but the report says the “impact was entirely unexpected, which means that people were barely able to comprehend the situation in which they found themselves.”
The Board do not point the finger at anyone for the missile in their report which means a lot of finger pointing will start now. They do, however, say that air space the plane flew through (along with many other civil aircraft) should have been closed. The Ukrainian foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, has defended the country’s decision not to close its airspace. How the politics will play out is hard to tell.
What I do know is that firing at civilian aircraft is unacceptable and illegal. It should not happen again. Governments, weapons manufacturers and armies must take action to ensure our safety.
May the 298 Victims Rest in peace:
- 193 from the Netherlands
- 43 Malaysian
- 27 Australian
- 12 Indonesia
- 10 from United Kingdom
- 4 Belgian
- 4 German
- 3 Filipinos
- 1 Canadian
- 1 New Zealander
TOTAL: 298 –80 of them children