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Aviation researchers investigate MH17 wreckage

A team of international aviation experts have probed the wreckage of Flight MH17 this week at the Dutch air force base Gilze-Rijen in the province of North Brabant, the Dutch Safety Board said Friday.

As part of the procedures required by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the experts have examined the fractures and the impact patterns on the fuselage of the Boeing 777 jet, which crashed in east Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

The investigators are from different countries including Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, the United States, Britain and the Russia. Representatives of Belgium and Germany only attended a meeting on February 17.

The planned three-dimensional reconstruction of a part of the aircraft, part of the effort to find the cause of the crash, will start soon. Close relatives will be allowed to view the reconstruction at a later time.

The wreckage of the MH17 flight was carried to Gilze-Rijen by trucks from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in December. A designated hangar at the air force base had been cleared especially for the investigation of the wreckage.

The Dutch Safety Board expects to publish the final report on the cause of the crash within one year.

On September 9 last year the Safety Board already issued its first preliminary report, stating the crash had an external cause, probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.

According to the agency, there are no indications that the crash was caused by a technical fault or by actions of the crew. 


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