Thursday August 7, 2014
03:56 PM GMT+8

UPDATED:
August 07, 2014
04:21 PM GMT+8

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A Malaysian expert (left) examines a black box belonging to Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 during its handover from pro-Russian separatists, in Donetsk July 22, 2014. ― Reuters picA Malaysian expert (left) examines a black box belonging to Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 during its handover from pro-Russian separatists, in Donetsk July 22, 2014. ― Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — A preliminary report on the “black boxes” from Flight MH17 that could reveal vital clues on how the plane crashed and killed 298 people may be ready by next week, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai today.

He also said investigations were still ongoing at the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines plane near Donetsk, Ukraine, where data and wreckage were being recovered.

“That information from the black box is very useful to us to determine the accident and how it happened” Liow told a joint press conference with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein here today.

Both Kiev and Moscow have denied responsibility for the downing of the passenger plane by what is believed to be a Russian-designed air defence missile over restive eastern Ukraine on July 17.

The plane’s black boxes may hold the clues on what type of missile had struck it down, the Wall Street Journal had recently quoted an aviation expert as saying.

In the Gallery


  • MAS stewards and stewardesses greet each other at the multi-faith prayer memorial for those on board Flight MH17, at Kelana Jaya, on July 25, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai arrives at the multi-faith prayer memorial for those on board Flight MH17, at Kelana Jaya, on July 25, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • A muslim woman is seen praying at the multi-faith prayer memorial held for those on board Flight MH17, at Kelana Jaya, on July 25, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • MAS stewardesses are seen at the memorial service held for those on board Flight MH17, at Kelana Jaya, on July 25, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • A group of Buddhist monks are seen on stage at the memorial service held for those on board Flight MH17, at Kelana Jaya, on July 25, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Datuk Liow Tiong Lai (centre) is seen at the memorial service held for those on board Flight MH17, at Kelana Jaya, on July 25, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Transport Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai places some flowers as a sign of remembrance during the memorial service held for those on board Flight MH17, at Kelana Jaya, on July 25, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • A man leaves a message on a wall as a tribute to passengers and crew of Flight MH17, at Kelana Jaya, on July 25, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • A MAS stewardess lights candles as a sign of remembrance for the passengers and crew of Flight MH17, at Kelana Jaya, on July 25, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, chief executive officer of Malaysian Airlines, holds flowers to lay in remembrance of passengers and crew of MH17 during a multi-faith event in Kuala Lumpur July 25, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • An Australian Air Force Boeing C-17 (top) transporting the last 19 containers of the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 ascends after taking off at Kharkiv airport July 26, 2014. — Reuters pic

Liow also said today that a preliminary investigation meeting headed by the Dutch and involving Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has been held.

When asked whether Malaysia would send its military personnel to the crash site to protect investigators amid the armed conflict in the eastern Ukraine area held by pro-Russia separatists, Hishammuddin said: “Not at the moment”.

The minister said the police were currently at the crash site, a decision that he said was made together with the Australian and Dutch authorities.

“If it becomes a military situation, the whole landscape will change, so let’s see how things develop from today onwards,” said the defence minister.

Hishammuddin stressed that all the remains of the Malaysian victims still in Ukraine must be retrieved.

Liow said that Malaysia would hold an interfaith memorial for the plane crash victims once the bodies arrive.

“Joseph Kurup has engaged a multi-racial council,” he said, referring to the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of unity.

The remains of the plane crash victims are still being identified in the Netherlands. 

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