Black box reveals ‘MH17 brought down by missile shrapnel’

Black box data from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane reveals the jet crashed due to a “massive explosive decompression” after being hit by shrapnel from a missile, claims a Ukrainian security official. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council, said the information came from experts analysing the flight recorders from MH17, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine killing all 298 people on board. Air accident experts in Farnborough, Hampshire, had been tasked with downloading the data from the two black boxes and passing the information on to international investigators.

This violation of international law, given the prevailing circumstances, may amount to a war crime.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

Western countries blame rebels for shooting down the airliner with a missile, mistaking it for a Ukrainian plane, but the separatists deny any involvement. Meanwhile, a team of Dutch and Australian police making a fresh attempt to reach the crash site were again forced to turn back after “explosions” in the area. A previous attempt had also been halted by fierce fighting. Ukraine rebels say they have lost control over part of the MH17 crash site. The claims about data from the flight recorders came as the UN said the shooting down of the airliner may amount to a war crime. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the “horrendous shooting down” of Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, and demanded a “thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigation.”