Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Germanwings plane crash: All victims identified

All the human remains found at the scene of the Germanwings air crash have been identified and will be returned to their families, a French prosecutor says. The plane crashed in the French Alps on March 24 with 150 people on board.

Investigators say co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane after locking the pilot out of the cockpit.

Recovery workers tasked with gathering the human remains and fragments of plane debris scattered across a steep mountainside faced a challenging task in treacherous conditions. Forensics workers used DNA testing to aid the identification process.

Experts have spent six weeks conducting DNA tests on the remains.

"The 150 death certificates can now be signed, as well as the 150 burial permits," said Brice Robin, Marseille's city prosecutor.

Mr Robin had previously said it was Mr Lubitz's "intention to destroy [the] plane", which was flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.

Among the victims was a group of 16 students, 14 girls and two boys, and two of their teachers, from Joseph-Koenig school in Haltern, western Germany. They were travelling back from a Spanish exchange programme on the Germanwings flight.

The victims were from 18 countries, including Australia, Argentina and Japan, but most of those on board were either Spanish or German.

The plane took off from Barcelona just after 09:00 GMT on 24 March. It made its last contact with air traffic control half an hour later, before descending over the following ten minutes.

The Airbus plane crashed in a remote region at 09:41GMT.

On 26 March, French investigators said information from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) found at the crash zone revealed that Mr Lubitz had taken over the controls of the plane and sent it into a dive intentionally.

A full investigation report is expected to be completed in a year.

Wednesday 20 May 2015


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