As Russia continues to deny culpability for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, European officials say that black box data shows the doomed aeroplane was hit by a missile explosion, according to CBS News.
Data from the black box points to a “massive explosive decompression,” with the plane’s fuselage getting hit by shrapnel from the explosion.
This is consistent with a photo of a piece of the plane’s wreckage that shows obvious signs of shrapnel damage, according to The Aviationist. The missile likely detonated on the right side of the plane, sending shrapnel clear through the aircraft, eventually shooting out of the left side.
U.S. officials say pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine are to blame for shooting down the passenger plane carrying 298 people. The plane was likely mistaken for a Ukrainian aircraft.
Russia has been accused of supplying the rebels with weapons, including the missile that took down the plane. On the day of the disaster last week, Associated Press journalists reported seeing a Buk missile system capable of shooting down a passenger plane in the area of eastern Ukraine where MH17 went down. The system was being transported by a man wearing “unfamiliar fatigues” and speaking with a Russian accent.
The rebels, some of whom have come to Ukraine from Russia, have also been accused of tampering with evidence at the crash site by sawing into pieces of the plane’s wreckage.
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