Timeline of MH17 air disaster

13th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

International investigators have determined that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a missile fired from war-torn eastern Ukraine, an official report said Tuesday.

These are the main developments since the plane crashed in rebel-held territory last year, killing all 298 people aboard:

- 2014 -

- July 17: A Boeing 777 operated by Malaysia Airlines flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashes near the village of Grabove, in the strife-torn region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Dutch nationals account for two-thirds of the dead, along with about 30 Australians and 30 Malaysians with many having dual nationalities.

- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko calls it a "terrorist act". Pro-Russian rebels claim the airliner was shot down by a Ukrainian military jet. Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine "bears responsibility" for the crash.

- July 18: US President Barack Obama says a missile fired from separatist-held territory was to blame, maintaining the rebels would not have been able to hit the airliner without Russian support.

- US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, says the plane was probably shot down by an SA-11, a common variant of the Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile.

- July 21: The UN Security Council adopts a resolution condemning the attack and demanding access to the crash site.

- July 22: Rebels hand over the plane's two black boxes to Malaysian experts.

- September 9: A first report released by the Netherlands says MH17 broke apart mid-air after being hit by numerous high-speed objects.

- 2015 -

- June 30: Dutch Justice Minister Ard van der Steur says chances of finding human remains of the last two victims of the crash are "unlikely".

- July 17: In the Netherlands and other countries, relatives of MH17 victims join emotional memorials. Britain calls for an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible.

- July 29: Russia vetoes a UN Security Council resolution, drafted by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, that seeks to set up a tribunal.

- August 11: Investigators probing the crash say they have identified seven large fragments "probably" from a BUK surface-air-missile system.

- September 25: The Dutch government says it will repatriate the latest remains found of victims from the crash.

- October 13: Investigators conclude the plane was shot down by a missile fired from eastern Ukraine, and which exploded "outside the airplane against the left-hand side of the cockpit," Dutch Safety Board chairman Tjibbe Joustra says.

"This warhead fits the kind of missile that is installed in the BUK surface-to-air missile system," he notes, adding that given the fighting in the area, "there was sufficient reason for the Ukrainian authorities to close the air space above the eastern part of their country."


© 2015 AFP

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