Releasing its air crash investigation report on Flight MH 17, the Dutch Safety Board concluded that the Kuala Lumpur-bound Malaysia Airlines passenger aircraft was hit by a Buk missile. 298 people were killed when the ill-fated passenger plane, which took off from Amsterdam, was downed by a missile while flying above Eastern Ukrainian airspace in July 2014. The region was marred with a conflict between the Ukrainian forces and separatist insurgents.
“Flight MH17 crashed as a result of the detonation of a warhead outside the airplane against the left-hand side of the cockpit,” the chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, Tjibbe Joustra, told a press conference on Tuesday.
In accordance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Netherland was delegated the task to probe the air crash of the passenger plane.
Reacting to the report, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Gennady Zubko said that the government will track down and bring to justice those responsible for the crash.
“We think the investigation should be carried out in an open way, and Ukraine will provide all related materials useful for the investigation. Ukraine and all relevant sides will form investigation teams to find out the truth and bring to justice those responsible. We will also file a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)” said Mr. Zubko.
Meanwhile, detailing the report further, Dutch Safety Borad Chairman Tjibbe Joustra criticised the Ukrainian authorities for allowing civil aircraft to continue to fly above the eastern part of the country despite the raging conflict between Kiev’s forces and pro-Russian separatist insurgents.
“We have concluded as a precaution there was sufficient reason for the Ukrainian authorities to close the air space above the eastern part of their country,” Joustra said.
Soon after the report by Dutch authorities, the Ukraine investigation committee claimed that the missile was launched from Snezhnoe, the area controlled by the Russian-backed insurgents.
However, the Russian state arms producer Almaz-Antey, which makes Buk missile, refuted with the Dutch investigation reports. The company’s chief executive Yan Novikov claimed that the ill-fated aircraft was hit by the missiles launched from the Ukrainian-controlled area.
But the Ukrainian authorities continue to blame the Russia’s security service.
“I personally have no doubt that this was a planned operation of the Russian special services aimed at downing a civilian aircraft,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.
Meanwhile, Australia too reacted to the reports of the Dutch Safety Board. 27 Australian nationals were killed in the crash.
“This report from the Dutch Air Safety Board will not provide all the answers to all of their questions. The demands of justice are yet unmet,” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said addressing the Parliament on Wednesday, referring to the grieving relatives of the victims of the crash.
(With inputs from the PTI)