After more than a year of investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which came tumbling out the sky in eastern Ukraine, Dutch investigators confirmed Tuesday the long-held belief that the plane was most likely struck by an explosion from a Russian-made missile:
The plane, a Boeing 777, came down on July 17, 2014, and prompted the formation of an international investigation team, spearheaded by the Dutch Safety Board, which also released a video today that details the bulk of its 15-month probe into the plane’s crash. Part of the video demonstrates the three-month long endeavor to reconstruct the plane, that reveals, piece by piece, just how the plane was randomly struck by an outside “high energy object,” that sent it toward a barren field in Ukraine.
The plane was reconstructed from the various shards of metal, and different fragments of melted plastic found among scattered human remains, in an attempt “to validate and visualize the results of the investigation,” according to the Dutch Safety Board.
The found parts of the plane were fixed to a frame, and then “were moved to their exact position and fixed in place.”
According to the video, the “impact pattern made by high-energy objects is clearly visible.” The reconstruction also shows the exact point of impact where the cockpit was torn from the rest of the plane.
Remnants of “high energy objects” were also discovered in the obliterated cockpit of the plane, where fragments of an explosive device were found in the bodies of three slain crew members.
The Dutch Safety Board also notes that the materials found in the cockpit also contained traces of glass and aluminum, meaning that they had “perforated the airplane from the outside.”
Unsurprisingly, the reconstruction portion of the video concludes by noting that “many traces of explosives were found on pieces of wreckage,” and that “traces of paint were found on parts of a missile that were recovered from the crash site.”
According to the report released today, the plane’s data recorders showed “no signs of distress” transmitted, that there were “no abnormalities found regarding the plane and crew,” and that there was no mechanical “malfunction of any system or aural warning” that might have suggested eminent disaster on board MH317. Additionally, the plane’s “radar data shows no other aircraft could have made impact with the plane” while it was in flight.