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Missile exploded by cockpit, broke off front

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) _ The latest news on the report into the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 in eastern Ukraine last year. All times local.

1:45 p.m.

The official Dutch Safety Board report on the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 says a missile exploded less than one meter (3.3 feet) outside the cockpit, killing three crewmembers inside and breaking off the forward section of the plane.
Safety Board chairman Tjibbe Joustra said the 15-month the investigation found the warhead was that used on a Buk surface-to-air missile system.
The investigation, however, did not conclude where the missile was fired from. MH17, carrying 298 people, was shot down July 17, 2014, while overflying an area of eastern Ukraine where government forces are fighting pro-Moscow rebels.
Joustra said that Ukraine authorities had ``sufficient reason'' to completely close the airspace in that area, but ``nobody gave a thought'' to the possible threat to civil aviation.
Missile fragments found in the cockpit crew's bodies, as well as paint traces, enabled investigators to identify the Buk, Joustra said.
 
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1:30 p.m.

The Dutch Safety Board says Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was downed by a  Buk surface-to-air missile as it flew over eastern Ukraine.
It adds that the plane should never have been flying there as Ukraine should have closed its airspace to civil aviation. It says ``nobody gave any thought'' to the risk.
The report issued Tuesday says states in civil conflict must do more in the future to protect passenger planes.
 
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   1:15 p.m.
 
Dutch investigators have just unveiled a ghostly reconstruction of the forward section of MH17, the Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine last year.
Some of the nose, cockpit and business class of the Boeing 777 were rebuilt from fragments of the aircraft recovered from the crash scene and flown to Gilze-Rijen air base in southern Netherlands.
A group of journalists fell silent as the reassembled wreckage, much of it twisted and riddled with holes, was presented.
An official Dutch Safety Board report into the cause of the downing of the plane, in which 298 people were killed, is to be presented later Tuesday.
 
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   1:05 p.m.
 
The father of a young man killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine last year says he was relieved to hear that those on board the stricken plane likely died almost instantly.
Rob Fredriksz was speaking after a presentation of the key findings of the 15-month investigation into the downing of MH17 that broke up in midair and plunged to the ground, killing all 298 passengers and crew.
Fredriksz's son Bryce was killed in the disaster.
He says the key findings presented to families were, ``That it was a Buk missile, made in Russia. That was clearly indicated. That Ukraine should have closed the air space and that the passengers absolutely felt and knew nothing.''
He says some family members became emotional when they were shown an animation portraying the downing of the plane.
The presentation for families came ahead of the official publication of the report later Tuesday.
 
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   12:10 p.m.
 
The cousin of a woman killed on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 says that the official investigation into the cause of the disaster last year has concluded that a Buk missile downed the plane.
Robby Oehlers, whose cousin Daisy was among the 298 people killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, says the conclusion was shared with family members at a meeting Tuesday,
He says, ``It was a Buk.''
Oehlers said it was ``as quiet as a mouse'' as Dutch Safety Board chairman Tjibbe Joustra explained the conclusions of the 15-month investigation to family.
The meeting with families of victims came ahead of the official presentation later Tuesday of the investigation's final report.

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