Kiev: The recently downed Malaysia Airlines jet in the eastern Ukraine had suffered an explosive loss of pressure after getting punctured by shrapnel from a missile, BBC reported on Tuesday citing Ukranian security officials.
They say the information came from the plane's flight data recorders, which are being analysed by British experts. However, it remains unclear who fired a missile, with pro-Russia rebels and Ukraine blaming each other. Armed pro-Russian separatists stand guard in front of the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Grabove, in the region of Donetsk on July 20, 2014. Photo: AFP
There were 298 on board the MH17 plane.
Earlier, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said the downing of the Malaysia Airines jet could constitute a "war crime".
Flight MH17, a Boeing 777, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed after being hit by a missile in Ukraine near the Russian border July 17, killing all passengers and crew on board.
This is the second major tragedy for Malaysia Airlines this year after flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board went missing while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing March 8. The flight remains untraced till date despite intense international search efforts.
Australian and Dutch investigators have failed for a third consecutive day to reach the MH17 crash site because of fierce fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Tuesday.
Abbott, who met with the national security committee in Canberra, said that it was a "confused situation on the ground", Xinhua reported.
"There is fighting and it's not just the separatists, it's the Ukrainian government as well," Abbott said.
He said that both sides had made a commitment to using "their best endeavours" to get the site safe enough for the Dutch-Australian team.
"And it's high time those commitments were honoured," Abbott said.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) said the situation was too risky after they encountered shelling on approach to the crash site.
The forensic teams are now caught in the middle of a war surrounding them in the city of Donetsk.
There are still human remains and important forensic information to be retrieved from the crash site.