Malaysia Flight MH17 penetrated by "high energy objects outside the aircraft"

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Jeffrey Feltman. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Investigators into the July crash of a commercial plane over Ukraine confirmed the flight "broke apart" after it was penetrated by "high energy objects" from outside the aircraft.

That's what the UN's Political Affairs chief told members of the Security Council on Friday.

A Dutch-led international investigation submitted its initial findings on 9 September into the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

All 298 people onboard the plane died. Two hundred and twenty-five of the victims have been identified and their bodies repatriated.

Jeffrey Feltman said the report contains the first factual findings based on various sources, including the cockpit voice recorder, flight data recorder and more.

"While the report is preliminary, it does assert that the flight "broke apart over Ukraine due to penetration by a large number of high energy objects from outside of the aircraft". The report notes that the aircraft was in "airworthy condition" with no indication that the plan had any technical or operational issues. The crew was properly licensed and no human error had been reported. And finally, no distress messages had been received."

A ceasefire agreement was signed early September by the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia rebel fighters who want to secede from the country.

The sole aim of the investigation is to "prevent similar accidents and incidents", Mr Feltman said.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’40″

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