A team of investigators from the Dutch Safety Board probing the July 17 crash of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner in Ukraine will publish the final report on the causes of the crash within a year, the Board said in a statement available on its official website.
"The preliminary report issues the first findings in a[n] ongoing investigation. From this point on, the investigation team will be working towards producing its final report. They aim to publish this report within one year of the date of the crash," the statement quotes Dutch Safety Board Chairman Tjibbe Joustra as saying.
The Tuesday report presents the initial findings, Joustra said. "The initial results of the investigation point towards an external cause of the MH17 crash. More research will be necessary to determine the cause with greater precision. The Safety Board believes that additional evidence will become available for investigation in the period ahead," he said.
The statement says a draft preliminary report was sent to the states participating in the investigation, i.e. Malaysia, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Australia, for review. "All Accredited Representatives have sent a reaction. The Dutch Safety Board assessed the provided suggestions and amended the report where appropriate," it says.
The statement says "more research will be necessary to determine more precisely what caused the crash and how the airplane disintegrated."
"The Board believes that additional evidence will become available in the period ahead. From this point on, the research team will start working towards producing the definitive investigation report. The Board aims to publish the report within one year of the date of the crash," the statement says.
The Dutch Safety Board's preliminary report says the Malaysia Airlines Boeing that crashed in Ukraine on July 17 experienced no mechanical failure and broke up in midair after being struck by "a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside."
The Malaysia Airlines MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all the 298 people on board. The fatalities include 192 Dutch nationals (one of whom also had U.S. citizenship), 44 citizens of Malaysia (including 15 crewmembers), 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 from the United Kingdom (one of whom also had South African citizenship), four from Germany, four from Belgium, three from the Philippines, one from Canada, and one from New Zealand.
Numerous media reports alleged that the aircraft had most likely been hit by a missile while flying over a conflict area in southeastern Ukraine.
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