MH17 crash report due in two weeks

September 03, 2014 - 12:00:00 am
Dutch Parliament members hold a minute of silence in commemoration of the victims of flight MH17 at the beginning of the first meeting after the summer recess in The Hague, Netherlands, yesterday. All 298 passengers and crew, including 196 Dutch passport holders, were killed as it was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

THE HAGUE: Dutch air crash investigators said yesterday an initial report into what brought down flight MH17 in Ukraine will be released “this week or the next.”

Of the 298 passengers killed when the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 exploded over strife-torn eastern Ukraine on July 17, 193 were Dutch citizens. The Dutch government has been placed in charge of victim identification and probing the cause of the disaster.

“We don’t know exactly when the interim report will be released but it will be this week or the next,” said Sara Vernooij, spokeswoman for the Dutch Safety Board (OVV). Vernooij stressed the findings will be a “first report, an interim report.”

“The final report will be published later, hopefully by the summer of 2015,” she said. The West has blamed Russian-backed separatists for shooting down MH17, while Moscow blames Kiev.

The aircraft’s black boxes have been shipped to Farnborough in Britain to be examined by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch. Air crash investigators returned to The Hague from Ukraine in early August without being able to visit the crash site, due to the deteriorating security situation in the country’s volatile east.afp