Main prosecuter Westerbeke says metal particles have been found in the victims bodies and luggage

Last Monday, October 27th, 2014, German Online Newspaper "Spiegel Online" published an interview with Dutch main prosecuter Fred Westerbeke. Westerbeke states that metal partitions have been found in the bodies of the victims.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Weil an der Absturzstelle immer wieder gekämpft wird, war bislang keiner Ihrer Ermittler vor Ort, etwa um Trümmerteile einzusammeln. Das wäre aber wichtig, allein, um das verwendete Waffensystem zu bestimmen. Auf welche Spuren greifen Sie stattdessen zurück?
Westerbeke: Es gibt Metallfragmente, die in den Körpern der Todesopfer gefunden wurden und in Gepäckstücken. Das könnte Schrapnell von einer Buk-Rakete sein, womöglich auch Teile des Flugzeugs selbst. Wir analysieren das, bislang gibt es noch keine Ergebnisse.

Although it has not been confirmed that these particles originate from a BUK missile, Westerbeke says that in his opinion it is still the most plausible MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Moskau verbreitet seit einiger Zeit die Version, das Passagierflugzeug sei durch einen ukrainischen Kampfjet abgeschossen worden. Halten Sie das für möglich?
Westerbeke: Ausgehend von den vorliegenden Informationen ist der Abschuss durch eine Boden-Luft-Rakete in meinen Augen noch immer das wahrscheinlichste Szenario. Aber wir verschließen nicht die Augen vor der Möglichkeit, dass es anders gewesen sein könnte.

Can we draw any conclusions from metal particles penetrating the bodies? Is it technically possible that these particles would originate from the plane itself?

http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/just...eber-den-absturz-in-der-ukraine-a-999193.html
 
But would the force of an explosion by decompression not be directed outwards, away from the passengers, and therefore any airplane material?

Since I'm not an expert on almost anything, I also wonder if anyone has knowledge about the size of the metal fragments that would be the result of a mid-air breakup? I am asking this since I have some issues understanding that metal fragments from the plane itself would be small enough to be able to penetrate human bodies or luggage.
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
I expect it would depend on the exact way the plane broke up.
also, what if an inner part of the plane broke to bits? Then the metal bits would be sucked towards the outside but the bodies/luggage would be in the way.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
The explosion would be outward from the missile, which was of a type that does not impact directly. The plane's breakup would be a very chaotic event with various bits of debris (including bodies) on many intersecting trajectories. The debris cloud would expand outward, but not everything in it would be on an outward trajectory. You'd find metal in just about everything - bodies, luggage, seats, clothes, equipment, even other metal.
 
I expect it would depend on the exact way the plane broke up.
also, what if an inner part of the plane broke to bits? Then the metal bits would be sucked towards the outside but the bodies/luggage would be in the way.

Possibly, but I still have difficulties understanding that a plane would be able to break up into small pieces like schrapnel. Guess I'll just have to wait and see.

The explosion would be outward from the missile, which was of a type that does not impact directly.

The whole point is that we don't know what brought down the plane. I was trying to deduct and hoping to come to some kind of clue. If plane parts don't break up in small fragments like schrapnel, then we would know the metal particals must have been from the schrapnel and therefore it must have have been een BUK missile.

Maybe I'm hoping too much :).
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
Fair enough. If it wasn't a missile, say an bomb or fuel tank, it would still be outward from the point of explosion, not uniformly outward from the surface of the plane. Even if it was centered in the fuselage, many people in the plane would have metal between them and the explosion - either whatever exploded itself, seats, walls, etc. Regardless of what precipitated it, the breakup would still be the same kind of chaotic event. Metal would get everywhere.
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
if a BUK missile is made of DIFFERENT alloy to the plane,and they analysed the metal fragments then that might help where you were going with it, Bruce.
 
Fair enough. If it wasn't a missile, say an bomb or fuel tank, it would still be outward from the point of explosion, not uniformly outward from the surface of the plane. Even if it was centered in the fuselage, many people in the plane would have metal between them and the explosion - either whatever exploded itself, seats, walls, etc. Regardless of what precipitated it, the breakup would still be the same kind of chaotic event. Metal would get everywhere.

Actually, the investigation team is now excluding the options of a bomb or an accident. In the preliminary report they were already suggesting a missile or air-to-air fire. Page 24 of the report:

... photographs from the wreckage indicated that the material around the holes was deformed in a manner consistant with being punctured by high-energy objects. The characteristics of the material deformation around the puncture holes appear to indicate that the objects orginated from outside of the fuselage.

http://www.onderzoeksraad.nl/upload...3acad0ceprem-rapport-mh-17-en-interactief.pdf

So, either a missile or some kind of gun- or cannon fire that causes decompression. Now is a compressive explosion on an airplane capable of ripping metal apart into such little pieces that they would compare to schrapnel? I understand that the force of such an explosion needs to go somewhere. That's why we would see the fuselage being ripped apart, outward direction. But ripping apart metal chairs? I'm not so sure about that. On the other hand, like I said, I'm not a scientist.

Excuses me for the lack of expressing myself clearly. I'm not a native English speaker.


if a BUK missile is made of DIFFERENT alloy to the plane,and they analysed the metal fragments then that might help where you were going with it, Bruce.

Definitely, that would do the job for sure. Would you agree that we can exclude the metal of the fuselage?
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
I wouldn't exclude anything. you can see what metal chairs and fuselage are and of, as well as a missile, and even what type of likely missile. If you are going to investigate, do it properly.

i am sure the team examining this are doing everything in the proper manner.
 
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