Tuesday 9 December 2014

MH17 Wreckage Arrives in the Netherlands

via Reuters
The first wreckage of MH17 arrived this afternoon in the Netherlands. Shortly after 2pm today two convoys of eight flatbed trucks reached Gilze-Rijen Airforce Base where the wreckage will be cataloged and examined before re-assembly next year. The first convoys left the Ukraine more than a week ago and have traveled the journey by road, mostly at night. The trucks crossed over the German/Dutch border around 3am this morning.

The Dutch Safety Board facilitated 40 relatives of the passengers and crew at Gilze-Rijen when the convoy arrived today. The DSB and the Dutch Department of Public Prosecutions will commence separate investigations into the cause and downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 over Eastern Ukraine on July 17th. The DSB will begin its technical examination of the Boeing 777 to ascertain HOW and WHAT brought about the downing of MH17, leading to the loss of 298 crew and passengers. The DPP will focus on WHO is responsible with its own criminal investigation.

The frontal area of the aircraft will be rebuilt on a specially designed rig in a hangar at Gilze-Rijen. This is believed to be the section of the aircraft which suffered a massive external blast. Investigators are working on two theories - 1. That the Boeing 777 was brought down by a BUK surface-to-air proximity missile, or 2. That the aircraft was brought down by air-to-air 30mm canon and/or missile fire from one or more fighter jets.

Both investigations will utilize Dutch and foreign military experts to examine aircraft parts displaying inward and outward puncture holes in the cockpit and front cargo hold (walls, floor and roof). It remains unclear if this damage was caused by penetrating metal from a proximity warhead or the more uniformed damaged caused by a series of canon-fire bursts.

The DSB will allow relatives to view the wreckage once the cataloging and re-assembly has begun in early 2015.

On December 17th, it will be exactly six months since the downing of MH17. Anti-government rebels in Eastern Ukraine have denied that they were in possession of a BUK missile launcher, and the Russian Federation has also denied it supplied or aided rebels in the area to target the passenger jet, instead citing their own satellite data showing the presence of a Ukrainian fighter jet close to MH17. The United States administration has maintained that MH17 was downed by a BUK missile launcher, citing satellite intelligence data and social media activity on the day of the tragedy.

As of now, no side has provided categorical evidence supporting its claims to the DSB or Dutch DPP.

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