Fragments of Possible missile parts found at Ukraine crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, investigators say.
The Parts are suspected of belonging to a Buk missile system, and could help identify who was behind the crash that killed all 298 people on board, Dutch prosecutors have said.
“The next step is to establish a fact….if this could be the missile system which downed MH17”, said Chief Investigator Red Westerbeke.
“if that is true we have important material in the investigation which can help us to find out where the missile came from, who did it belong to and where it was made.” he said.
Pro-Russia separatists have been accused by Ukraine and many Western countries of shooting down the plane with a surface-to-air missile supplied by Moscow. There have been suggestions the missile was fired in the belief it was a military plane, reports said.
MH17 crashed on land held by Russian-backed rebels in July 2014, killing 283 passengers, including 80 children, and 15 crew members on the Malaysian Airlines airliner. All 298 on board died in the crash, according to reports. The plane is flying Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Help of weapons and forensics experts are needed to further investigate the suspected missile parts, said a spokesman, Wim de Bruin.
The parts were found during Dutch recovery missions to the crash site.
Dutch authorities have conducted a number of missions to the site to recover human remains, belongings of victims and parts of the crashed plane, according to reports.
The Joint Investigation Team which comprises representatives from the Netherlands, Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Britain, the US and Russia, said in a joint statement with the Dutch Safety Board that “parts had been secured during a previous recovery mission in eastern Ukraine.”
“The parts are of particular interest to the criminal investigation as they can possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17. For that reason the JIT further investigates the origin of these parts,” the statement said.
The prosecutors warned that it was too early to say that there is a causal connection between the discovered parts and the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, according to reports. IMAGE AP