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MH17 black box reveals last seconds for Malaysia Airlines passengers

MH17 black box data reveals that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was hit by shrapnel from a missile explosion. In regard to the passengers of Flight MH17, the black box data indicates that the plane experienced a “massive explosive decompression.” Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's Security Council, said in a news conference in Kiev that the unofficial information released about the black box data of MH17 came from experts analyzing the recorders, reports The Telegraph on July 28.

Luggage and personal belongings from Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 lie in a field on July 22, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine
Luggage and personal belongings from Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 lie in a field on July 22, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine
Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images

The black box recorders from MH17 flight were recovered from the crash site in Ukraine. Last week, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) delivered the two black boxes to the headquarters of the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) for data downloading and analysis. The official results of the investigation, which is led by the Dutch Safety Board, are expected to be made this week.

The unofficial report that the plane and the passengers of flight MH17 were attacked by shrapnel from the missile and experienced a rapid decompression is supported by the fact that the plane's fuselage was hit multiple times by shrapnel from a missile explosion. A small group of Dutch, Australian and Malaysian investigators have found “the sort of blast holes through the plane that an exploding missile might make.”

A visual depiction of the last seconds for Malaysia Airlines passengers describes that the holes created by the shrapnel would have quickly depressurized the plane at 33,000 feet and deprived the crew and passengers of oxygen, rendering them unconscious.

In addition to the MH17 black box data and the plane’s physical condition, investigators found the personal belongings of many of the 298 people killed on July 17 -- including over 20 families and as many as 80 children. During the 2009 crash of Air France flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, the cockpit flight recorder (which records conversations between crew members on the flight deck and any other sounds and which is usually located in the plane’s tail to maximize the survival of a head-on-crash) revealed an extreme level of confusion before the plane plunged into the Atlantic Ocean.