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MH17: Timeline of a disaster

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MH17: Timeline of a disaster


17th July 2014

The Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 leaves Amsterdam airport as scheduled en route to Kuala Lumpur. On board are 283 passengers and 15 crew members, most of them Dutch. The plane had a clean maintenance record.

1.20pm (UTC)

MH17 crosses Eastern Europe. While flying at an altitude of 10km over eastern Ukraine, it loses contact with air control and crashes. At this time, the conflict between government troops and pro-Russian separatists is at its height.
The plane wreckage is found in rebel-held territory.

18th July 2014

Pro-Russian separatists vehemently deny accusations that they shot the aircraft down.
The international community insists on a transparent investigation.
According to the Ukrainians, records of phone conversations prove the involvement of a Russian agent and rebel fighters.

In footage showing the aftermath of the crash the following exchange can be heard:

- Malaysia. Foreigners. – Who gave them the corridor (right to fly through this area)? – I understand. Keep the perimeter, don’t let the civilians get through. – This is (a) passenger (plane). – Is it orange? – Black box. Black box.

19th July 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin blames military conflict in eastern Ukraine for the Malaysian airliner crash.

Unconfirmed reports say rebel fighters are impeding investigators from accessing the crash site. Ukrainian officials accuse separatists of destroying evidence.

21st July 2014

Rebels hand the black box over to Malaysian officials in Donetsk to be examined.

9th September 2014

This leads the Dutch Safety Board to release a preliminary accident report saying that the crew had not sent any distress signals or reported any technical problems.

13th October 2015

In the final report, Dutch authorities confirm that MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made BUK. Officials in Moscow deny that the missile was brought from Russia to Eastern Ukraine.

The Joint Investigation Team which now publishes its international report already tried to set up an international tribunal, but the move was vetoed by Russia at the UN in July 2015. However, several States have expressed desire for justice.

28th September 2016

At a press conference in Nieuwegein, Holland, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said there was conclusive evidence that a Buk 9M38 missile hit the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, killing all 298 people on board. 100 suspects are identified. An investigator says there is a ‘realistic chance’ that those responsible will be brought to justice.

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