Germanwings A320 black box found in French Alps
FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES: Airbus A320 plane crash in Southern France
French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, has confirmed the finding of flight recorder from the crashed Germanwings plane, which was earlier reported by several media outlets, including BFM TV and Le Monde.
"A black box that we found a few hours after the crash will immediately be examined to help the investigation move forward quickly," he told reporters.
— Breaking 3.0 (@Breaking3zero) March 24, 2015
Earlier, parliamentarian Christophe Castaner, who arrived at the crash site, told France Info radio that it wasn’t yet clear, which of the two black boxes was fond – the one that stores the negotiations of the crew or the one that records the technical parameters of the flight.
— AirLive.net (@airlivenet) March 24, 2015
An Airbus A320 with 144 passengers and 6 crew members crashed in mountainous Digne region in the south of the country.
The plane, which belongs to Germanwings low-cost airline, was on its way from Barcelona in Spain to the German city of Dusseldorf.
The airplane crashed in a remote area near the town of Barcelonnette, some 100 km north of the French Riviera city of Nice.
— Tom Burges Watson (@Tburgeswatson) March 24, 2015
None of the passengers and crew has survived the crash in the French Alps, local police said.
“The priority task for the gendarmes, who arrived at the crash site, was to try to finding survivors of plane crash. Unfortunately, as of this moment, we have to state that there have been no survivors in the crash," David Galtier, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region’s police chief, said during a press-conference.
The airplane crashed in a remote area near the town of Barcelonnette, some 100 km north of the French Riviera city of Nice. There were citizens of Germany, Spain, Belgium and Turkey aboard.
The aircraft lost contact with French air traffic controllers at 10:53 AM at the altitude of 6,000 feet, Germanwings said.
The Airbus 320 started descending one minute after reaching its cruising height and continued to lose altitude for eight minutes, before finally crashing, the company added.
Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann told journalists that "there were no anomalies on the plane” that crashed in the French Alps.
The fact that the aircraft was 25-years-old isn’t an issue “as long as you have your maintenance schedule in place and follow all the procedures together with the manufacturer,” he said.
— La Provence (@laprovence) March 24, 2015
Meanwhile, the US has ruled out the possibility of a terrorist attack as the reason for the Flight 4U9525 crashing.
"There is no indication of a nexus to terrorism at this time," Bernadette Meehan, White House National Security Council spokeswoman, was cited as saying by Fox News.
Bad weather conditions were also unlikely to have caused the crash as "data from lightning detectors show the nearest electrical storms were occurring in Sardinia, some 186 miles (around 300 kilometers) off the south coast of France,” Rob Thompson, a meteorologist at the University of Reading, told Sky News.
Depressurization of the cabin, human error and mechanical fault are also among possible reasons for the crash, aviation experts said.