21 JULY 2014
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On Thursday 17 July a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 operating a scheduled service MH17 between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur was shot down by a guided missile in Ukrainian airspace. All 298 souls onboard were lost. The plane was thought to be flying at around 32,000ft with a speed of 550 mph.
At the time of publication the origination of the rocket is unclear although this is expected to be confirmed by various agencies over the coming days.
Under International law the Ukrainian authorities are responsible for all investigations, the incident happening in their airspace with the remains of the aircraft in that country. However they are not likely to have the expertise to undertake the task and would not be acceptable to the Russians. A way around the dilemma would be for Ukraine to sub-contract out this task to a universally recognised specialist agency whilst retaining their legal authority. The integrity of the crash site has to be preserved.
Coordinating the formalities is the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) a multinational organisation established in 1975 and headquartered in Vienna. The UK Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB), with its very high reputation, has been requested to assist with the enquiry and now has representatives on site. www.aaib.gov.uk www.osce.org
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