Iran says black boxes show missiles hit 25 seconds apart
DUBAI: Analysis from the black boxes of a downed Ukrainian passenger plane shows it was hit by two missiles 25 seconds apart and that passengers were still alive for some time after the impact of the first blast, Iran said on Sunday.
The announcement by the head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization marks the first official report on the contents of the cockpit voice and data recordings, which were sent to France for reading in July.
Tehran has said it accidentally shot down the Ukraine airliner in January at a time of extreme tensions with the United States. All 176 people aboard the plane were killed.
The second missile hit the aircraft 25 seconds after the first, but only 19 seconds of that gap was captured on the recordings because of damage from the first missile, Touraj Dehghani- Zanganeh was cited as saying by state television.
"Nineteen seconds after the first missile hit the plane, the voices of pilots inside the cockpit indicated that the passengers were alive ... 25 seconds later the second missile hit the plane," he was reported as saying. "Therefore, no analysis of the performance and effects of the second missile was obtained from the aircraft's black box."