• Tuesday, October 21, 2014

MH17 black boxes arrive in Britain

BBC Online
A Malaysian investigator, left, takes a black box from MH17 as it is handed over by a Donetsk People's Republic official on July 22. Photo: AP
A Malaysian investigator, left, takes a black box from MH17 as it is handed over by a Donetsk People's Republic official on July 22. Photo: AP

The black boxes from downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 have arrived in the UK for analysis by air accident investigators, it has been confirmed.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said they had been delivered to its headquarters in Farnborough, Hampshire.

Experts will attempt to download data from the recorders following a request by authorities in the Netherlands - who are leading the investigation.

Some 298 people, including 10 Britons, were killed in the crash on 17 July.

Western leaders have accused Russia of arming separatist rebels in Ukraine, and believe the rebels shot down the Boeing 777-200 airliner with a ground-to-air missile.

But Russia has suggested Ukrainian government forces are to blame.

DUTCH INVESTIGATORS

The black boxes have been transported to the UK after pro-Russian rebels handed them to Malaysian officials this week.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said data from the two devices would be downloaded and sent back to Dutch investigators.

One of the boxes records technical information relating to the performance of the aircraft and the other takes down sounds such as pilots' voices and, potentially, an explosion.

Depending on damage to the black boxes the process should take about two days, the spokesman said.

Jonathan Sumberg, BBC transport reporter, said the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was one of two "replay units" in Europe with the necessary equipment to listen to the cockpit voice recorder.

He said as soon as material was uploaded from the black boxes the information would be passed back to Dutch investigators.

It comes as the first planes carrying victims' bodies from the crash site left Ukraine for the Netherlands, where experts will begin identifying them.

The Dutch prime minister will meet the planes in Eindhoven, amid a national day of mourning for the victims.

Published: 4:31 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Last modified: 10:10 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2014

TAGS: UK Malaysia plane crash MH17 black boxes

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