ROTTERDAM, August 14 -- The preliminary results of an inquiry into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 will be published during the first week of September.
The passenger jet is believed to have been shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine on July 17, claiming the lives of all 298 passengers and crew members on board. Ongoing fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government forces prevented investigators from reaching the crash site, but Dutch, Australian and Malaysian forensic experts managed to make it to the area to look for human remains and personal belongings.
The investigators have left Ukraine and will resume their probe in the Netherlands, Wim van der Weegen, spokesman for the Dutch Safety Board, or OVV, told AFP, noting: "We have sufficient information to compile a preliminary report."
The OVV said earlier in a statement that it would only investigate the cause of the crash, with no intention of finding a party to blame for the incident. The preliminary report will contain information from various sources, including black boxes, transcripts of interactions between the crew and flight dispatchers and satellite imagery.
Russia and the West have traded accusations in recent weeks about who is to blame for the crash. While western politicians have pointed fingers at pro-Russian insurgents, President Vladimir Putin said that the Ukrainian leadership is culpable, as it prolonged the conflict that was the ultimate cause of the crash.
The preparation of the final report will take several months.
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