AN Aircrash which killed a University of Leeds student was probably brought down over Ukraine by numerous “high-energy objects”, an official accident report has said.
The MH17 Malaysia Airlines plane had been widely-suspected to have been shot down by a ground-to-air missile over a war-torn area of Ukraine in which pro-Russian separatists are fighting.
Among the 298 victims was Richard Mayne, a popular student at the university.
In a preliminary report into the July 17 disaster, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) said black box recorders showed there was nothing wrong with the plane before the incident.
Revealing that parts of the wreckage from the Kuala Lumpur-bound Boeing 777 had shown “multiple holes and indentations” the DSB said the debris was “consistent with the damage that would be expected from a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside”.
The DSB said the plane, which had left Amsterdam at 10.31am local time, probably broke up in the air, with aircraft parts, cargo and baggage scattered over an area of about six miles by three miles in eastern Ukraine. The plane had been in radio contact with Ukraine air traffic controllers and was flying at a height of 33,000ft when contact was lost at three seconds beyond 1.20pm local time. The report said: “Damage observed on the forward fuselage and cockpit section of the aircraft appears to indicate that there were impacts from a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft. The pattern of damage observed in the forward fuselage and cockpit section of the aircraft was not consistent with the damage that would be expected from any known failure mode of the aircraft, its engines or systems.”