Probe into Germanwings crash: As it happened on Wednesday

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Mar 26, 2015, 13:50 PM IST
Probe into Germanwings crash: As it happened on Wednesday
  • Second black box has been found, but without its content: Hollande
  • We are standing 'shoulder to shoulder' with all the nations affected: Hollande
  • Everything will be done to find remains of the victims and hand over them to the families: Hollande
  • French President Francois Hollande addressed a press conference at Seyne-les-Alpes, calls the incident 'a terrible catastrophe'.
  • Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr says, "What was important to us yesterday now seems irrelevant in comparison. We cannot comprehend how a technically flawless airplane steered by two experienced pilots could encounter such a situation at cruising altitude. All of us at Lufthansa are working to ensure that such an incident will never occur again.We cannot believe that this has happened. We are doing everything to support the families." Two special flights for families and friends of the victims will fly to France tomorrow.”

  • The air disaster in the French Alps cannot be explained by the age of the Germanwings Airbus A320, which at 24-years-old should still have been in excellent condition, experts were quoted as saying by AFP.

  • French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy paid a visit to the crash site of Germanwings flight Airbus A320

  • Candles were lit and flowers were offered outside German school whose 16 students died in the plane disaster.
  • In a show of solidarity with the victims of the Germanwings plane crash, players of Football Club Bayern Munich held a minute's silence in the stadium ahead of training.
  • "FC Bayern are in mourning with the relatives of all the victims of flight 4U9525 and our thoughts are with you all," the Football club tweeted. 
  • In sad news for Britain, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that three Britons were among the victims of the plane crash.

    “We currently believe that three British people have been killed in this tragedy but we can’t rule out the possibility there are further British people involved,” Hammond told reporters.

  • As some pilots have refused to fly inn the wake of crash, Germanwings is wet leasing aircraft from other airlines, Flightradar24 reported.



  • In a statement, Germanwings said that one flight has been cancelled  as some crew members are "unfit for service" because of "emotional distress". 
  • It is understood that the pilots were not in a state to fly psychologically as some of their colleagues were on board the ill-fated plane. Talking about it, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that it was important to understand their sentiments and ensure psychological assistance to them if needed.

    "One must not forget: many of our Germanwings crews have known crew members who were onboard the crashed plane," Spohr said according to a news agency.

    "It is now more important to ensure psychological assistance if needed. And we will get back to a full flight operation as soon as possible then. But for me, this is rather secondary now," he added.

Also Read: Germanwings cancels flight as pilots refuse to fly

  • A.fter the Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, many Germanwings pilots are refusing to fly, causing some flights to be cancelled, reports said.
  • To honour the victims of the crash, Lufthansa and Germanwings would hold a minute's silence at 10: 53 am.


  • Meanwhile, the Lufthansa airline is retiring the flight code 9525, and re-numbering the morning Dusseldorf - Barcelona flight as 4U9440/9441 till 28th March.
  • Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr has described the crash site as "harrowing" and pledged that "Germanwings and Lufthansa will do everything in our power to help in an uncomplicated and timely manner".
  • French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has ruled out the possibility of a terrorist attack in plane crash and said that all options must be looked into to explain what could have led to the crash, the Reuters reported citing his comments made to the RTL radio on Wednesday. Earlier, even the White House had rejected a possible terror angle to the crash.

Also Read: A320 crash probe not focusing on terrorism: French minister

  • One of the witnesses thought that it was an avalanche.

    Having heard a loud noise from the mountains, Sandrine Boisse, a tourism official from the ski resort of Pra Loup, told the BBC, "At first we thought it was on the ski slopes, an avalanche, but it wasn't the same noise".

  • Also, German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier had described the crash site as “a picture of horror”.
  • Earlier French MP Christophe Castaner, who flew over the crash site, described the scene as horrendous and said that the plane was completely destroyed in the crash. 

He tweeted: "Horrendous images in this mountain scenery... Nothing is left but debris and bodies. Flying over the crash site with the interior minister -- a horror -- the plane is totally destroyed."

  • The fact that even the black box, which is manufactured in a away so as to tolerate intense heat and pressure, got damaged, says much about the ferocity of crash. 

Also Read: Germanwings black box `damaged` in crash: Source

  • The Cockpit Voice Recorder contains a record of all the conversation taken plave in the cockpit as it records and stores the audio signals of the microphones and earphones of the pilots’ headsets and of an area microphone installed in the cockpit.

  • French interior minister says that the recovered black box from plane crash is damaged, however it can be of use and information can be extracted.
  • The searchers started the work amid inclement weather conditions with a sky draped with a blanket of cloud and freezing temperatures. As more than 300 policemen and 380 firefighters set out today to resume the recovery efforts, it was not just difficult mountainous terrain that was to impede their work but the weather forecasters predicted snowfall in the French Alps.

"The weather report is saying they are expecting snow in the early morning and that of course will keep the helicopters on the ground if it is too heavy," a Deutsche Welle official said according to a report.

  • Search and recovery efforts has resumed on Wednesday morning and hundreds of emergency workers have started looking out for debris and human remains strewn over 4 acres of the southern French Alps near the village of Seyne-les-Alpes.

  • According to a  a Boeing safety analysis, the A320 family has a good safety record, with just 0.14 fatal accidents per million takeoffs, reports a news agency. The ill-fated Germanwings airliner jet was delivered to Lufthansa in 1991 and had about 58,300 flight hours over 46,700 flights.
  • Investigators will begin the search and recovery mission today to find clues about what happened to the Flight 4U9525 before it started plummeting down and crashed. The debris strewn across the Alpine mountainsides and the black box hold the clues that might reveal the cause of the crash.
  • Meanwhile, Lufthansa's low-cost carrier Germanwings has changed its logo's colour from maroon and yellow to black and grey with "#indeepsorrow" inscribed below the logo sign.
  • Contrary to some reports yesterday, France's aviation authority said that there was no distress call sent by the ill-fated Flight 4U9525, which is said to have flown to a height of 38,000 feet initially before it started a rapid 8-minute descent at 6,800.
  • French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spainish PM Mariano Rajoy will reach the crash site today afternoon.

  • Also, according to UK Foreign Office, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said it was "sadly likely" that some British nationals were on board.



  • As details emerge about the victims, it is said that there were 67 Germans and 45 Spanish victims. Also, there were passengers of Australia, Turkey, Denmark, Belgium, Kazakhstan and the Netherlands.

Also Read: Kazakhstan says at least three citizens killed in Germanwings crash

  • "It’s particularly heartbreaking because it apparently includes the loss of so many children," Obama said.
  • US President Barack Obama too expressed deep regret over the crash and called it “heartbreaking” due to loss of children's lives. The victims included two babies, two opera singers and 16 German high school students and their teachers returning from an exchange trip to Spain.

Also Read: Germany in state of grief after the air crash

  • “There is no indication of a nexus to terrorism at this time,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement. “US officials have been in touch with French, German, and Spanish authorities and have offered assistance,” she added.
  • White House says that there is no terror link to the crash.
  • Recovery work that had started on Tuesday and called off later in the evening, will resume on Wednesday. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve had confirmed yesterday that one of the black boxes from the Germanwings plane that crashed in the Alps has been found.

A Germanwings Airbus A320 plane carrying 144 passengers and six crew members on board went off the radars yesterday morning before crashing in the French Alps.

The plane was flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf and carried people of German, French, Spanish and Turkish nationalities. The crash left no survivors and among 150 killed, were 16 German teens.

Leaders of France, Germany and Spain have expressed shock and extended condolences to the kins of the passengers.