Tragic MH17 plane passengers ‘didn’t die instantly’ as plane exploded into fireball

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Six years ago today all 298 passengers and crew – including 10 Brits –  on board Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 died in unimaginable horror.

The passenger plane, filled with many people embarking on a holiday of a lifetime to Kuala Lumpar from Amsterdam, was shot out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile on July 17, 2014.

Flight MH17 was flying over Ukranian territory and a probe into the tragedy has said the Buk missile came from a military base in Russia.

The report, carried out by the Dutch Safety Board and a Dutch-led investigation team, went on to claim the aircraft was downed in an area seized by Russian-backed rebels.

Last year, four people were charged with murder in connection with the downed plane, and their trial began in their absence in March, 2020.

Russia has denied any involvement in the disaster.

The Dutch government said earlier this plan that it plans to file a suit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights six years on from the crash in Ukraine.

A letter to parliament said the Netherlands was filing the case at the European court to achieve “truth, justice and accountability” for all the victims.

Dutch Foreign minister Stef Blok said his government would give the court all its information on MH17, thereby supporting the individual applications already submitted by the victims’ next of kin.

Despite the new court case, the Dutch government said it wanted to continue the talks with Russia on MH17 that it started together with Australia over a year ago.

Almost exactly a year after the atrocity an official report reveal the horrifying details of MH17’s final flight.

Only the captain and two of the crew were killed instantly when the missile hit the plane just three feet from the cockpit.

Everyone else on board remained alive for up to 90 seconds before the plane exploded mid-air.

Harrowingly, investigators even found one of the passengers wearing an oxygen mask amid the wreckage of the plane, meaning they had time to put it on before they were killed.

The findings of the official report, compiled by the Dutch Safety Board, devastated the loved ones of those who died. They had hoped they’d been killed instantly.

Instead, most died due to “decompression, reduced oxygen levels, extreme cold, powerful airflow and flying objects.

The report added: “It cannot be ruled out that some occupants remained conscious during the 60 to 90 seconds before the plane crashed.

“Victims were barely able to comprehend the situation in which they found themselves…no indications were found of any conscious actions such as sending text messages.”

Claudio Villaca-Vanetta, had been told husband Glenn Thomas, of Blackpool, died “instantly or very quickly”.

He said: “Even if it was the estimated nine seconds for somebody to lose consciousness, it is still a lot of time.

“For most families of victims, including myself, we went through counselling and this was maybe the hardest point to accept – the terrible cruelty and the violence on bodies.”

If convicted, the four men could face sentences of up to life in prison, although Russia does not extradite its citizens.

The Kremlin has questioned both the legitimacy of the international investigation and the independence of the court.

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