Dutch authorities have officially confirmed crashed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a missile fired from eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
Delivering its final report on the tragedy, the Dutch Safety Board said MH17 crashed as result of the detonation of a warhead to the left of the plane’s cockpit.
Parts of the missile were found in bodies of three crew in the cockpit who were killed instantly, the board said.
Passengers on the flight not killed by the missile were unconscious within moments, it said.
Authorities said 61 airlines were flying over eastern Ukraine when the Malaysia Airlines flight crashed, but said airlines flying over the area should have recognised the dangers.
The board said Ukraine should have closed the airspace over the country’s east.
International regulations should also be changed to increase transparency about flight routes as a result of the crash, it said.
MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in July 2014 when the Boeing 777 crashed over eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed rebels were fighting Ukrainian forces.
The Dutch lost 193 citizens and 38 Australians were onboard.
Before officially unveiling the report at the Gilze-Rijen air base, families and media were able to view a partial reconstruction of the doomed plane, made from pieces of wreckage brought back from the crash site.
The long awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile.
Moscow has vehemently denied any involvement in the crash, pointing the finger instead at Ukrainian government forces who were battling a fierce rebellion by pro-Russian separatists in the east.
A criminal inquiry into the flight’s downing is still underway. That report is not due until the middle of next year.