Investigators: Malaysia’s MH17 Shot Down By Russian Missile
Dutch investigators today said Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made "warhead" fired from eastern Ukraine, according to the group’s final report.
The verdict comes some 15 months after the flight, which left Amsterdam heading to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down.
NBC News, the Associated Press and other media outlets reported that investigators said the missile actually detonated outside of the jet, but close enough to cause major damage and bring the flight down.
Russian officials have denied it was their missile.
According to the AP, the findings of the Dutch Safety Board were announced at a press conference against the dramatic backdrop of the Boeing 777's partially reconstructed fuselage.
The missile was a BUK surface-to-air missile — which is made in Russia, according to Reuters. Given the plane’s altitude in the area of 35,000 feet, investigators said all aboard likely lost consciousness almost immediately due to “structural damage” in the “forward part” of the plane. The plane broke up in midair and scattered over a large area, he added.
Ukraine and its Western allies have alleged that pro-Russian rebels shot down the plane; Russia has long rejected that assertion.
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