Accessibility links

At Germanwings Crash Site, Recovery Efforts Suspended

  • VOA News

French gendarmes work near debris from the Germanwings crash, near Seyne-les-Alpes, in this photo released by the French Interior Ministry April 1, 2015. A German flag is on the wreckage.

French gendarmes work near debris from the Germanwings crash, near Seyne-les-Alpes, in this photo released by the French Interior Ministry April 1, 2015. A German flag is on the wreckage.

Recovery efforts at the Germanwings crash site have come to a halt, at least for this weekend, French police said Saturday.

Authorities said they had found both black boxes and human remains for DNA analysis. The German airliner crashed in the French Alps on March 24, killing all 150 people aboard.

Families and loved ones of victims arrived at a memorial site near the disaster location to honor the dead and grieve over the Easter weekend.

To protect their privacy, police kept media off the site. Authorities blocked media from all views of the site.

Investigators said that voice recordings from the first black box, recovered shortly after the crash, led investigators to conclude that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane.

Lubitz, 27, locked pilot Patrick Sondheimer, 34, out of the cockpit and then put the Airbus A320 into a steady, accelerated descent into a mountainside. Investigators say he ignored the pilot's frantic demands to open the cockpit door, which could be heard on the plane's cockpit voice recorder.

In 2009, Lubitz had told the flight school for Lufthansa, the corporate parent for its budget carrier Germanwings, that he had a "serious depressive episode," but Lufthansa certified him as fit to fly.

Lubitz had 600 hours of flying experience, while Sondheimer had more than 6,000 hours.

According to earlier news reports, the Airbus A320 had been grounded for repairs just 24 hours before it departed Barcelona for Dusseldorf on what became its last flight.

XS
SM
MD
LG