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A "Large Number Of High-Energy Objects" Downed Flight MH17

A preliminary report by Dutch investigators said there was no evidence of technical faults in the plane, which crashed in eastern Ukraine in July. This story is developing.

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A preliminary report by Dutch investigators said Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine in July, was downed by a "large number of high-energy objects".

Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters

The report, by the Dutch Safety Board, said the objects caused "structural damage" that led to the Boeing 777-200 "breaking up in the air." The objects "penetrated the aircraft from the outside."

The report found no evidence of technical faults in the plane.

Although the report is preliminary and does not attribute any blame or liability, it is significant as it is the first official account of the crash, the BBC reported.

The pattern of wreckage on the ground suggested the aircraft broke into two pieces while in flight, the report said.

Google Earth/Dutch Safety Board

It was the pattern of damage to the forward fuselage and cockpit section that led investigators to conclude the aircraft had suffered the impact of high-energy objects, and that damage was not consistent with failure of the aircraft itself, or its systems.

They concluded it had broken up in the air due to the fact there were “many pieces of the aircraft structure distributed over a large area.”

The map below shows the distribution of the wreckage in the area around Hrabove and Rozsypne, eastern Ukraine, and the last recorded location of the aircraft, according to the flight data recorder.

No surprise in #MH17 crash investigation report: not technical/pilot fault. prob cos of structural damage from high energy objects #ukraine

Richard Galpin@Richardgalpin

No surprise in #MH17 crash investigation report: not technical/pilot fault. prob cos of structural damage from high energy objects #ukraine

9:26 AM - 09 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

ie a missile designed to explode near plane hitting it with cloud of shrapnel #MH17 #ukraine #Russia

Richard Galpin@Richardgalpin

ie a missile designed to explode near plane hitting it with cloud of shrapnel #MH17 #ukraine #Russia

9:29 AM - 09 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

reading report into #MH17 - horrific. no warning. no mayday. no distress. just blasted out of the sky. this is the true meaning or enormity

Richard Quest@richardquest

reading report into #MH17 - horrific. no warning. no mayday. no distress. just blasted out of the sky. this is the true meaning or enormity

11:53 AM - 09 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The cockpit voice recorder, flight data recorder, and data from air traffic control all suggest the flight proceeded as normal until it "ended abruptly" at 13:20:03 UTC.

AAIB/Dutch Safety Board

Evidence from the cockpit voice recorder revealed no evidence of technical faults or an emergency situation, and no warning tones were heard. System warnings were not picked up by the flight data recorder (pictured), and no emergency call was made to Ukrainian air traffic control.

Three other commercial aircraft were in the vicinity of MH17 at the time of the crash.

Three other commercial aircraft in vicinity at time of #MH17's disappearance, nearest was 30km away: preliminary inquiry.

David Kaminski@FlightDKM

Three other commercial aircraft in vicinity at time of #MH17's disappearance, nearest was 30km away: preliminary inquiry.

9:13 AM - 09 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Airspace situation at time of #MH17 loss, showing the 777 north of airway L980 and its direct route to RND waypoint:

David Kaminski@FlightDKM

Airspace situation at time of #MH17 loss, showing the 777 north of airway L980 and its direct route to RND waypoint:

9:27 AM - 09 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

American officials believe the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile fired by pro-Russian rebels.

Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters

The plane was carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members when it crashed.

Pro-Russia rebels have claimed that they did not have the capability to shoot down the plane.

#BREAKING Pro-Russia rebels say they did not have capability to shoot down Flight MH17

Agence France-Presse@AFP

#BREAKING Pro-Russia rebels say they did not have capability to shoot down Flight MH17

11:48 AM - 09 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

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