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Reconstruction Sheds New Light on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Tragedy

Reconstruction Sheds New Light on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Tragedy
Joe Cortez

Through the reconstruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, investigators now have more insight into what happened in the flight’s final moments. Although passengers were exposed to some of the most extreme conditions imaginable, some did what they could in the hopes of saving their lives.

New information from the reconstruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 sheds new light into the passenger’s final moments aboard the aircraft. CBS News’ 60 Minutes reported on the latest developments on the doomed flight, shot down six years ago over Ukraine.

Passengers Had Time to Put On Oxygen Masks

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 had all the makings of a routine 12-hour flight from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL). Captain Eugene Choo was in charge of the Boeing 777, carrying 298 people on the transcontinental flight.

Their flight plan carried them over Ukraine, where Crimean fighters backed by Russia were combating the Ukrainian armed forces over the attempted annexation of the region. Ahead of MH17, the rebel forces were successful in bringing down two Ukrainian aircraft using surface-to-air missiles.

To protect civilians, the nation closed off airspace from commercial flights operating at or under 32,000 feet. But the order was not effective. On the day MH17 was shot down, at least 160 commercial flights went over the same airspace.

The flight was interrupted by a Buk surface-to-air missile, carrying a 9N314M-type warhead. The reconstruction shows the aircraft was penetrated by over 800 pieces of cube- and bowtie-shaped shrapnel and debris from an explosion, only 10-feet away from the cockpit. This caused the separation of the cockpit and business class cabin, but the main part of the airframe continued to fly for another 90 seconds.

In that time, passengers in the main cabin experienced explosive depressurization, combined with 500 mile-per-hour subzero winds. At least one passenger had the time to put on their oxygen mask as the aircraft crashed. There were no survivors, as the accident spread remains and aircraft parts across the

To this date, search teams have found the remains of all but two people killed in the crash.

Survivors and Governments Seek Justice for Shot-Down Flight

Although it’s been four years since the Dutch Safety Board confirmed MH17 was shot down by a Russian-built missile, there have been no actions taken against a responsible party. Over 350 investigators from five nations worked together to put the pieces together, with no resolution in sight.

In 2018, The Netherlands and Australia released a joint report putting responsibility on Russia for supplying the armament that brought down MH17. However, no formal action was taken against The Kremlin over the incident.

View Comments (8)


  1. itdontmeanathing

    July 15, 2020 at 4:27 am

    If it’s been known for 4 years the plane was shot down by a missile, why does the title state ‘sheds new light’? That light was shed before the Dutch Safety Board released their report.

  2. Alefson

    July 15, 2020 at 6:39 am

    Very unbalanced article. “Order (no fly zone) was not effective”? What the heck does that mean? No arguments of the Russian side were mentioned. Russians and rebels had nothing to gain from this incident. Putin’s plane flew in the vicinity, the attackers might have had him as a target. Witnesses from ukrainian air traffic control mysteriously vanished after making statements inconsistent with the official story. No wonder nobody dares to enforce any actions against the Russians.

  3. Dougg

    July 15, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Same thing happened to the plane/passengers on the Lockerbie Scotland bobbing and crash. Plane continued to fly for 7 miles without the cockpit.

  4. FEasy

    July 16, 2020 at 12:05 am

    What a horrible thing to realise, that people were still conscious after the missile hit. It is a heinous crime, and no one has lived up to it even though such a missile launch involves many people and many steps. This must be unbearable for the families.

  5. Kipale78

    July 16, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Dear Alefson,

    It is beyond any doubt that Russia took down the plane, while invading Ukraine. They obviously took down a civilian plane by mistake. Please, respect those hundreds of innocent victims and keep the Putin propaganda for yourself.

  6. Cotumely

    July 17, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Well said, Kipale.

  7. CoolTourist

    July 18, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    Agree with Kipale. Russia has a lot to answer for.

  8. diamantaire

    July 19, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Nobody knows the truth, they used questionable people eliot higgins from bellingcat who was a former underwear salesman, which no military background/ training or experience . He also normally never visits ground zero !! Only people with a negative IQ would believe him.

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