3:37 pm - Wednesday September 20, 3871

MH17 black boxes handed over to British experts

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The British government has confirmed that the two black boxes from Malaysian airlines Flight MH 17 that crashed in eastern Ukraine killing 298 on board have been handed over to British investigators.

A release from the Department for Transport said that the boxes, which will contain recordings of all cockpit conversations prior to the crash, have been “safely delivered by the Dutch Safety Board to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch at Farnborough for download”.

The AAIB can now analyse hours of conversation and the contents of the flight data recorder for clues on why and how the plane went down.

AFP reports that the Dutch authorities could receive the findings from the AIIB within 24 hours. A majority on the flight — 193 out of 298 on board — were Dutch nationals.

The Ukraine government in a statement said that it will transfer the plane crash investigations to the Netherlands. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said this is being done to “to ensure the full independence and transparency of the process”. This proved that Ukraine is ready for “a transparent, fair and international investigation of this fact,” he said.

The boxes were handed over by a joint technical protocol signed by representatives of the Netherlands, Malaysia, Ukraine and the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organisation. The statement said the Ukrainian side “did not touch” the black boxes, and that “these objects were under the control of the Ukrainian side not for a single moment”.

The AAIB is responsible for the investigation of civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within the U.K.

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