Unreleased data from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17’s black boxes show findings consistent with a missile blast, according to media reports. The information shows the aircraft was hit multiple times by shrapnel from a missile designed to bring down aircraft.
A European air safety official told CBS News of the information, “It did what it was designed to do — bring down airplanes.” The official added that the finding was “massive explosive decompression.”
Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people aboard. The crash site remains unsecured, and there is no timeline for when investigators will be able to safely search for the cause of the crash and recover more human remains.
The escalating conflict in Ukraine has made it difficult to investigate the crash, and the full teams of aviation crash experts and security personnel are still waiting to visit the site. In the meantime, a small group of Dutch, Australian, and Malaysian investigators are combing through the site to look for evidence of what cause the accident.
Michael Borkiurkiw of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) explained that the team continues to make grisly discoveries, including “personal belongings, passports, ID cards, credit cards, things like that.” He added, “The Dutch have just documented some very small human remains over there in that field as well.”
About 100 passengers remain unaccounted for, while the rest of the bodies have been transported to the Netherlands for identification.
While analysts in Britain are combing through information from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17’s black boxes, the team on the ground if finding more evidence of blast holes in the plane’s fuselage, indicating an exploding missile.
The Dutch sad that their full team will concentrate on that specific find, though covering the massive crash site systematically will be difficult. USA Today notes that a team of international police officers cleared by separatist leader Alexander Borodai to visit the crash site canceled their visit when fighting broke out in the area.
The CBS News report, if true, would confirm suspicions from world governments about the cause of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crash. The United States believes the Boeing 777 was downed by a Buk surface-to-air missile by pro-Russian separatists. The country has accused Russia of supplying the separatists with the missiles.
The war between Ukraine and separatists is intensifying and the window for accessing the crash site could be closing. If that happens, the information from the black boxes and forensics from the remains of the victims could be the only way to determine what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
[Image by puoicm.org]