The Dutch Safety Board investigation into the July 2014 crash of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 claims the Boeing 777 was shot down by a Russian-made Buk missile.
DSB chair Tjibbe Joustra told reporters during a briefing today that the SAM exploded less than a yard from the 777's cockpit, instantly killing its three crewmen and breaking the plane apart. The DSB confirmed its findings with a reconstruction of the doomed flight's nose, shown above. Part of the fault rested with the Ukraine, which Joustra said should have closed its airspace. There was no indication on the cockpit voice recorder that anything was amiss.
The report doesn't say anything about who fired the missile, although it did narrow its origin down to a Russian separatist-controlled, 124-square-mile area. Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in the downing, which killed 298 people. The manufacturer of the missile responsible for the incident, Almaz-Antey, has also contradicted the Dutch findings, USA Today reports.
That said, Almaz-Antey's contradictions don't rest with the missile involved, so much as where it was fired from. The company conducted two experiments, detonating Buk missiles near the nose of a 777, and found a different damage pattern than what was reported by the DSB.
"We have proven with our experiments that the theory about the missile flying from Snizhne is false," Almaz-Antey boss Yan Novikov told USA Today. AA claims that rather than the missiles coming from separatist-controlled territory, they were fired from Zaroshenske, a Ukrainian-controlled village.
Of course, there is a third theory that completely ignores just where the missile came from, and instead focuses on why and how, blaming a lack of training on the part of the operator, whichever country he was fighting for.
"The people who 'pulled the trigger,' so to speak should have, as a matter of training, ensured that the target was not a commercial aircraft by checking for this code first," retired US Air Force two-star general and current University of Notre Dame Professor Robert Latiff told USA Today. "I suspect this was not the case, and some nervous, anxious, or trigger-happy soldier was at fault."