Missile Brought Down Malaysia Airlines Plane in Ukraine, Investigators Conclude

PHOTO: The reconstructed cockpit of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane is seen prior to the presentation of the Dutch Safety Board in Gilze-Rijen, central Netherlands, Oct. 13, 2015.PlayPeter Dejong/AP Photo
WATCH Final Report on Malaysia Airlines Flight Downed Over Ukraine Is Released

A Buk missile brought down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Eastern Ukraine last year, according to a report released by Dutch investigators today.

The Dutch Safety Board’s final report comes nearly 15 months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plunged out of the sky over pro-Russian, rebel-held territory, killing all 298 people on board.

Investigators unveiled a reconstruction of the front section of the downed plane at today's press conference. Parts of the nose, cockpit and business class were rebuilt from fragments of the aircraft recovered from the crash scene.

Prior to the official presentation of the investigation’s final report, the Dutch Safety Board announced the conclusions to relatives of the victims.

PHOTO: People walk amongst the debris, at the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine, July 17, 2014. Dmitry Lovetsky/AP Photo
People walk amongst the debris, at the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine, July 17, 2014.

Today’s report focuses on the accident’s cause, and seeks to explain why the plane was flying over the region, as well as delays in notifying victims’ relatives. The report does not directly address who was responsible, but a separate international criminal investigation aims to address those concerns.

A preliminary report issued last year stated that the plane was likely struck by multiple “high-energy objects from outside the aircraft.” In the preliminary report, the Dutch Safety Board stopped short of saying the plane was shot down by a missile, but its findings appeared to point to that conclusion.

The Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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