THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was likely struck by multiple “high-energy objects from outside the aircraft,” causing it to break up over eastern Ukraine, a preliminary report into the deadly aviation disaster concluded Tuesday.
The report by the Dutch Safety Board stopped short of saying the Boeing 777 was shot down by a missile, but its findings appear to point to that conclusion. It also did not say who might have been responsible.
The Boeing 777 suddenly plunged out of the sky July 17 over territory held by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board. “The damage observed in the forward section of the aircraft appears to indicate that the aircraft was penetrated by a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft,” the report said. “It is likely that this damage resulted in a loss of structural integrity of the aircraft, leading to an in-flight break up.”
The board is leading the international investigation into the cause..