MH17 Crash Report: The Airplane Was Shot Down by a BUK Missile

By Jamie Condliffe on at

In July 2014, flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed over the Ukraine. Today, the Dutch Safety Board has issued its report on what happened.

At a press conference, the chairman of the Dutch Safety Board has explained that “it was definitely a BUK missile that hit flight MH17”, writes the BBC. The missile is said to have hit the front section of the plane from the left, and their analysis suggests that the missile was launched from “somewhere in an area of 320 sq km in Eastern Ukraine.”

Preliminary reports had already suggested that “high-energy objects” had caused the airplane to explode. The report rules out an air-to-air attack, which pro-Russia rebels had suggested was the cause of the crash.

The Safety Board notes that while lower levels of Ukrainian airspace were restricted, flight MH17 was flying in a higher section of air space that was left open. The BBC reports that the Dutch Safety Board believes “there was sufficient reason to close airspace above eastern Ukraine as a precaution at the time.” Part of that reason was that 16 military airplanes and helicopters had been shot down in the weeks before the MH17 crash. However, Ukrainian authorities did not do so.

Families of the victims received advance copies of the report this morning, ahead of its release to the public.

Image by AP