ICAO preliminary report into the downing of MH17

Media Release


09 September 2014

Joint release with:

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP

Prime Minister

The Government welcomes the findings of the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) preliminary report on the cause of the MH17 crash.

It is the first official account of the downing of MH17.

The ICAO's preliminary findings make clear that the tragic downing of MH17 was not due to aircraft malfunction or pilot error.

Instead it was penetrated by a large number of high energy objects from outside the aircraft, leading to an in-flight break up.

The findings are consistent with the Government's statement that MH17 was shot down by a large surface-to-air missile.

The report draws on data from the black box, satellite imagery and photos from the crash site. Its findings are based on an objective analysis of available evidence.

It does not attribute blame or liability for the incident—this is the role of the multinational criminal investigation led by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, which is currently underway.

The final ICAO report will likely be released in the second quarter of 2015.

A copy of the interim report has been made available to the families of the victims.

The international community must remain focused on finding, prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators of this cowardly attack.

We owe this to the innocent victims of the MH17 downing and their families.

We are grateful for the Dutch Government's efforts to coordinate the repatriation and identification of the victims of MH17, as well as its strong leadership of the ICAO and criminal investigations.