Dutch Safety Board finds possible evidence to explain MH17 crash

On July 17, 2014, a confirmed Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members.

“The eyes of the world are on eastern Ukraine, and we are going to make sure that the truth is out,” President Barack Obama said in a White House statement on July 18, 2014, the day after the crash.

According to USA Today, flight MH17 left Schiphol Amsterdam Airport in the Netherlands at 12:15 p.m. on July 17, 2014. MH17 was supposed to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia at 6:10 a.m. on July 18, the following day.

“The impact was entirely unexpected,” the Joint Investigation Team, a group of officials investigating the MH17 crash, wrote in a report analyzing the incident, according to The Star Online, “which means that people were barely able to comprehend the situation in which they found themselves.”

Days after the crash, Obama blamed Russia for providing sophisticated equipment and training to pro-Russian separatists, allowing the accused separatists to shoot down the plane. According to Toronto Star, there has been no confirmation on whether Obama’s accusations were true.

Obama said in a White House statement, “This should snap everybody’s heads to attention.”

According to The Guardian, on one Dutch recovery mission to the crash site, authorities found Russian BUK missile fragments and traces of paint on the bodies of victims. This development marked the first time investigators confirmed physical evidence about the incident.

“The parts are of particular interest to the criminal investigation as they can possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17,” the Joint Investigation Team said in a statement to the Dutch Safety Board.

According to BBC News, Russia and Ukrainian government forces blamed each other for shooting down the plane, with both sides denying responsibility.

“The rebels are not shooting, that is done by the various military groups fighting on the side of Ukraine’s official authorities,” Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, said to Najib Razak, Malaysian prime minister.

The Dutch Safety Board expected to release a full report on the criminal investigation into the MH17 crash at the end of 2015.

“Without what happened there, the plane might never have been downed,” Jordan Withers, law graduate who lost an uncle in the MH17 crash, said in an interview with BBC News. “But we are still waiting for a resolution. Hopefully we can find that.”