A Dutch investigation into the downing of Flight MH17 over Ukraine has concluded the aircraft crashed due to "external causes" rather than a technical failure, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday.
Damage from the crash, which resulted in the loss of 298 lives, was "not consistent with the damage that would be expected from any known failure mode of the aircraft, its engines or systems," investigators from the Dutch Safety Board said.
The report concluded the plane was penetrated from the outside with "a large number of high-energy objects" — appearing to confirm theories that the aircraft was downed by a BUK surface-to-air missile, the BBC reported.
Both Ukrainian government forces and rebels have had access to BUK missiles, which explode near to their targets and pepper with them with shrapnel for maximum damage, the report added.
Flight MH17, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed over Ukraine's eastern rebel-held territory in July, killing all passengers on board.
Western nations have accused rebels of downing the aircraft using Russian-supplied weapons, though Moscow has repeatedly denied those claims.
But while the preliminary Dutch report confirmed the plane was brought down by "external causes," it left the question of who to blame for the deadly crash unanswered.