Malaysia Airlines MH17 hit by numerous objects

A report into the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has said the aircraft broke up in mid-air after being hit by “numerous objects”.

Unidentified objects “pierced the plane at high velocity”, the report finds, with “no evidence of technical or human error”.

The plane was flying from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in rebel-held territory eastern Ukraine on July 17th.

All 298 people on board the flight died when the plane came down, amid reports it was shot down by pro-Russian rebels.

A report released by the Dutch Safety Board examined black box flight data recorders, air traffic control recordings, satellite images and photos from the scene.

The cockpit voice recorder revealed no signs of any technical faults or an emergency situation, the experts said, while a maintenance history showed the aircraft was airworthy and had no known technical problems when it took off from Amsterdam.

Archive image of Malaysia Airlines MH17

Radio communications between the pilot and Ukrainian air traffic control confirm that no emergency call was made.

Experts MH17 was manned by “a qualified and experienced crew” and that the aircraft’s engines were running normally at 293 knots at 33,000ft.

Ukraine’s government and several Western leaders say there is strong evidence that pro-Russian separatists shot down the plane with an anti-aircraft system known as Buk.

However, the report makes no comment on who may have fired any missile.

Russia has consistently denied allegations that it had supplied any missiles or weapons to the rebels.

The board says it expects the final report to be published within a year.