Saturday 16 December 2017

Downed flight MH17 was one of 160 passenger planes over eastern Ukraine

The reconstructed wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine REUTERS/Michael Kooren
The reconstructed wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine REUTERS/Michael Kooren
The wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine REUTERS/Michael Kooren
A journalist takes a picture of a piece of wreckage of the MH17 airplane after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine REUTERS/Michael Kooren
Wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherland REUTERS/Michael Kooren
Wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine REUTERS/Michael Kooren
Wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine REUTERS/Michael Kooren

Tom Wilkinson

Flight MH17 which was brought down by a Russian-made missile killing 298 people was one of 160 passenger planes flying over eastern Ukraine that day, Dutch investigators have said.

The warhead exploded to the left of the cockpit, causing it to break off as it was showered with fragments of metal, and the Boeing 777 broke up in mid-air, the Dutch Safety Board found.

Relatives were told at a briefing in The Hague that loved-ones would have died very soon after the Buk missile exploded.

There were 10 Britons on board the Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur last July.

Read more: MH17: Dutch Safety Board confirms Buk missile fired downed flight killing 298 people

Outlining the report findings, DSB chairman Tjibbe Joustra said civil aviation needed to learn lessons about flying over areas where armed conflict was taking place.

On that day 160 planes had flown over eastern Ukraine and three other commercial airliners were in the same area when MH17 was hit, he said.

"Every single one of those operators thought that was safe," he said.

Operators had been told that air space above 32,000ft was open, despite a number of military planes being brought down in recent days.

The report recommended that countries where armed conflict was taking place should do more to ensure air safety and carriers should be more transparent about the routes they use.

Press Association

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