BBC News - MH17 Malaysia plane crash in Ukraine: What we know
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BBC News - MH17 Malaysia plane crash in Ukraine: What we know

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All 298 people on board a Malaysia Airlines plane died after the airliner crashed in eastern Ukraine...

All 298 people on board a Malaysia Airlines plane died after the airliner crashed in eastern Ukraine...

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BBC News - MH17 Malaysia plane crash in Ukraine: What we know Document Transcript

  • 1. BBC News - MH17 Malaysia plane crash in Ukraine: What we know All 298 people on board a Malaysia Airlines plane died after the airliner crashed in eastern Ukraine, close to the border with Russia. Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was travelling over the conflict-hit region when it disappeared from radar. A total of 283 passengers, including 80 children, and 15 crew members were on board. What type of plane was it? The crashed plane was a Boeing 777-200ER, the same model as Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared while travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March. The aircraft, manufactured in 1997, had a clean maintenance record and its last check was on 11 July, Malaysia Airlines said. Malaysia's prime minister said there was no distress call before the plane went down. What happened? According to Malaysia Airlines, the plane departed from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport at 10:15 GMT (12:15 local time) on 17 July and was due to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 22:10 GMT (06:10 local time). The airline lost contact four hours later at 14:15 GMT - 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border. Footage later emerged of the crash site in territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists, and witnesses spoke of dozens of bodies on the ground. What caused the crash? Western nations have said there is growing evidence that the plane was hit by a Russian-supplied missile fired by rebels. Russia has blamed Ukrainian government forces.
  • 2. US officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have said there is a "solid case" that a SA-11 missile - also known as Buk - was fired from eastern Ukraine under "conditions the Russians helped create". Buk surface-to-air missile system Continue reading the main story They said the "most plausible explanation" for the shooting down of the plane was that rebels mistook it for another aircraft. Evidence included images purportedly showing a surface-to-air missile launcher in the area, analysis of voice recordings of pro-Russian rebels apparently admitting bringing the airliner down and social- media activity pointing to rebel involvement. The evidence also included satellite images of a facility allegedly used to train rebels near the Russian city of Rostov, which were later tweeted by Geoffrey Pyatt, US ambassador to Ukraine. Russia, however, has denied all allegations it supplied weaponry to the rebels and has instead suggested a Ukrainian military plane had flown within firing range of the airliner just before it came down. The Ukrainian government has rejected the claims. Experts say flight crash investigators should be able to determine what caused the crash from traces left on the debris. How a missile could have brought down MH17 Who was on board? Malaysia Airlines' passenger list shows flight MH17 was carrying 193 Dutch nationals (including one with dual US nationality), 43 Malaysians (including 15 crew), 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and 10 Britons (including one with dual South African citizenship). There were also four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, one Canadian and one New Zealander on board. At least six of those killed were delegates on their way to an international conference on Aids in Melbourne, Australia. Professor Joep Lange - a prominent scientist and a former president of the International Aids Society (IAS), was among those who died. His colleagues have described him as "a great clinical scientist" and "a wonderful person and a great professional". Other stories of passengers and crew emerging include a Malaysia-Dutch family of five, a Dutch couple on their way to Bali, an Australian pathologist and his wife returning from a European holiday, as well as a Malaysian flight steward whose wife - who also works for Malaysia Airlines - had narrowly escaped death when she pulled out of a shift working on missing flight MH370.
  • 3. Was it safe to fly over Ukraine? Continue reading the main story Malaysia Airlines' senior vice-president Europe, Huib Gorter, said the flight route had been declared safe by the authorities, was being used by many other airlines and was not subject to any restrictions. Although the area where the jet crashed had a no-fly zone in place up to 9,754m (32,000ft), the airliner was flying above the limit at 10,058m (33,000ft). The UK's Civil Aviation Authority says airlines' decisions on whether to fly over conflict zones will be based on a range of factors - advice from the Foreign Office, warnings in the area, weather, navigation aids, strikes and which airports are out of action. In the 48 hours running up to the MH17 crash, many airlines had chosen to keep flying in the area, as data from flight tracker Planefinder shows. According to Flight radar24, which also monitors live flight paths, the airlines that most frequently flew over Donetsk in the last week were: Aeroflot (86 flights), Singapore Airlines (75), Ukraine International Airlines (62), Lufthansa (56), and Malaysia Airlines (48). At the time of the MH17 crash on 17 July, a number of other flights were in the area. Selected flights over eastern Ukraine on the afternoon of 17 July What about the plane's black boxes? Continue reading the main story Pro-Russian separatists have handed over the plane's "black box" flight recorders to Malaysian investigators, who in turn passed them on to Dutch authorities. The head of the Malaysian delegation said the recorders were "in good condition". The devices will be sent to Farnborough in the UK for analysis.
  • 4. The recorders - actually coloured a deep orange to aid discovery - store key technical information about the flight as well as conversations in the cockpit. The flight data recorder will reveal the time of the incident and the altitude and position of the aircraft, while the cockpit voice recorder will reveal what the crew knew was happening before disaster struck. Who will investigate? Responsibility for the investigation belongs to the state within which an incident occurs, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization. As such, the Ukrainian government initiated the probe, but invited Malaysia to participate. Other international experts are also assisting. Observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) - whose job it is to observe the site ahead of the arrival of investigators - were the first team to visit the debris zone, however their movements were restricted by militiamen. A Malaysian team of 133 officials and experts, comprising search and recovery personnel, forensics experts, technical and medical experts have also arrived in Ukraine, as well as Dutch forensic scientists who have been working to identify bodies. Wreckage is scattered across a radius of at least 2km (1.2 miles), with reports of some items being found even further afield. Continue reading the main story http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28357880