The Dutch Safety Board on Tuesday released its preliminary report on the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, saying the Boeing 777 broke up in the air as a result of structural damage caused by “a large number of high-energy objects” that penetrated it.
There were no indications that the July 17 crash over war-torn eastern Ukraine was caused by a technical fault or by any actions of the crew, the report said.
The 34-page report set out what Dutch aviation investigators think happened, but it did not apportion blame. Ukraine and the West accuse pro-Russian separatists, aided by Russia with troops and firepower, of downing the passenger jet, an event that shocked the world. Russia blames Ukraine and denies supplying separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The plane was airworthy when it departed Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, manned by a qualified and experienced crew, the report said. The Dutch board, entrusted by the Ukrainians to investigate the crash, said it expected the final report to be published within a year of the crash.
“The cockpit voice recorder, the flight data recorder and data from air traffic control all suggest that flight MH17 proceeded as normal . . . after which it ended abruptly,” a summary of the report said. It said the communications among crew members “revealed no signs of any technical faults or an emergency situation.”