France: Germanwings second black box found at crash site
The second box contains crucial flight data that is expected to shed more light into the now established theory that the plane was deliberately crashed.
The second black box of the Germanwings plane that went down last week in the French Alps has been found at the crash site, French prosecutor Brice Robin told a press conference in Marseille Thursday.
Robin is in charge of the air crash investigation team.
"The second black box, the fly-data record, was found this afternoon by a female police officer,” Robin said. "The box, the same color as a rock, was found next to a ravine on the left side of the crash area, above the point of impact, completely buried," he added.
The prosecutor said that the box had been damaged, but there was hope that data could be retrieved.
The second box contains crucial technical flight data records, which was found after nine days of hectic efforts by search teams at the crash site. The data is expected to shed more light into the now established theory that the plane was deliberately crashed by the co-pilot.
'Body parts being matched'
Robin also said that although thousands of body parts had been isolated, it would take a long time to match them with the DNA profiles of each passenger and crew member of the ill-fated flight.
"We retrieved 2,854 treaties fragments and recovered 2,285 DNA samples. Of these, 150 isolated DNA profiles were made...this does not mean that we have identified 150 victims, I insist on this point," Robin said.
He added that once a victim was identified, the family would be informed immediately.
He also said that 470 personal belongings, including 40 cell phones were found at the crash site, but their poor state was making it difficult for investigators to extract any useful information.
Based on the audio recordings of the first black box, French and German prosecutors had concluded that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had deliberately crashed the plane by keeping the pilot outside the cockpit after he left to use the washroom.
The Germanwings Airbus A320 was en route from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf in Germany, when it went down on March 24, killing 144 passengers and six crew members on board. The majority of the victims were German and Spanish.
French and German airlines are introducing new security measures in the wake of last week's crash. Alexandre de Juniac, the CEO of Air France, said Thursday that the French flag carrier had already adopted a proposed rule requiring the presence of two crew members in the cockpit at all times.
In Germany, Bild daily reported possible measures being considered included changing the cockpit door locking system on passenger planes, as well as imposing stricter ID checks on travellers before they boarded flights within the Schengen free-movement zone.
Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa, which owns low-budget Germanwings, said in a written statement Tuesday that an internal investigation revealed that the 27-year-old co-pilot had submitted medical documents to its pilot school in 2009 about a "previous episode of severe depression."
The company claimed last week that Lubitz was "100 percent fit to fly without any restrictions," but German prosecutors seized documents at the co-pilot’s house showing that he had received psychotherapy for having suicidal tendencies.
Last Modified: 2015-04-03 08:25:30
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