A full transcript of the last moments of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has been released, revealing the frantic search for the plane as air traffic controllers lost contact.
The last words from the cockpit were "romeo November delta, Malaysian one seven" - a routine reply to directions given from a Ukrainian control centre.
But when workers tried to contact the plane again seconds later, there was silence.
The Dutch Safety Board has released the transcript in its preliminary report into the crash on 17 July, which killed all 298 passengers and crew on board.
Despite persistent claims that it was hit by a missile fired by pro-Russian rebels, the report did not assign blame but confirmed it “broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside”.
The transcript shows an air traffic controller in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine (DNP on transcript), desperately trying to contact MH17 after losing contact at 1.20pm.
Unable to reach MH17, the worker called the next air traffic control centre due to contact the flight in Rostov, Russia (RST), but they were also unable to contact the Malaysian plane.
Another aircraft flying nearby was asked if it could see MH17 on its instruments but the crew answered that it was not visible or on radar.
“It’s disappeared,” the Ukrainian controller said, while Rostov answered “yes, nothing. We see nothing”.
Calls to the plane continued until 1.35pm but it had already crashed near the city of Torez in Donetsk oblast, scattering wreckage over miles of rebel-controlled countryside.
The Dutch Safety Board’s full report is expected by next July, within a year of the disaster.
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