MH17 downed by shrapnel

A Malaysian passenger jet which blew up over rebel-held east Ukraine with the loss of all 298 people on board was hit by numerous “high-energy objects”, according to a report Tuesday which could back up claims it was downed by a missile.inside-no-105
While the preliminary report from Dutch investigators does not point the finger of blame over the July disaster, it could heighten Western pressure against Moscow over its role in the bloody Ukraine conflict.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 “broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside,” said the Dutch Safety Board report.
International experts have been unable to access the rebel-held crash site northeast of Donetsk because of fighting, and have relied on information from the black boxes, from Ukrainian officials and pictures and video taken at the scene.
But the findings appear to back up claims that the Boeing 777, which plunged out of the sky on 17 July en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was hit by a missile.
“The initial results of the investigation point towards an external cause of the MH17 crash,” said safety board chairman Tjibbe Joustra.
He said more work was needed to determine the cause with “greater precision” and the final report was expected by July 2015.
Kiev and the West have accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down MH17 with a surface-to-air BUK missile supplied by Moscow.
The BUK works by exploding directly outside the target and hitting it with a massive amount of high-velocity shrapnel.
The downing of MH17 was the second tragedy for Malaysia Airlines after the disappearance of flight MH370 in March, and threw the global spotlight back on the uprising in eastern Ukraine.
“We have to guard against drawing premature conclusions,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country lost 193 nationals in the tragedy. “The case is still wide open.”
The report — which said the black box recorders had not been tampered with — revealed the plane issued no distress signals before it disappeared.
“There are no indications that the MH17 crash was caused by a technical fault or by actions of the crew,” it said.