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Germanwings Flight 9525 Recovery Effort Enters Day Two, 150 Presumed Dead

A Germanwings Airbus A320-200 crashed in remote part of French Alps early Tuesday morning with 150 souls onboard. Day two of rescue and recovery efforts have revealed new details.

While flyers around the world continue to mourn the presumed loss of all 150 souls aboard Germanwings Flight 9525, rescue crews continue to search for answers as to why the A320-200 crashed in the French Alps early Tuesday morning. During the second day of the recovery effort, rescue workers began to sift through debris left by the Airbus A320-200.

According to the New York Times, officials at the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) — the French equivalent of the FAA — have recovered the cockpit voice recorder, which was enclosed in one of the two “black boxes” onboard the aircraft. The flight data recorder has also reportedly been recovered, but the memory card containing the aircraft data is apparently missing. While it is unclear what was retrieved from the voice recording, a BEA representative told the Los Angeles Times that the recording contained “sounds, voices [and] alarms.”

An unnamed senior military official involved in the investigation discussed the recording the New York Times on the condition of anonymity. The official described the pilots’ conversation as “very smooth, very cool” earlier in the flight, but said that one pilot was later locked out of the cockpit for reasons unknown.

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer. And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer,” said the official, adding that the locked-out pilot can then be heard “trying to smash the door down.”

“We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” the official told the Times. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”


Although Germanwings has yet to confirm the identities or nationalities of those on 4U 9525, the U.S. State Department has confirmed that three Americans were onboard. According to the State Department, Yvonne Selke, Emily Selke and an unidentified third American were killed in the crash.

“We are in contact with family members and we extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the 150 people on board,” read a portion of the department’s statement, as printed by the Los Angeles Times.

In a video message posted on the Germanwings Facebook page, Deutsche Lufthansa AG CEO Carsten Spohr expressed his sorrow in the tragedy and seeing the remains of the aircraft on the mountainside.

“Our thoughts and prayers this very moment are with the relatives of those passengers and crew members who lost their lives,” said Spohr. “We support them in whichever way we can around the world.”

On its website, Germanwings confirmed that the next of kin of those onboard 4U 9525 would be offered special flights to Marseille, where an assistance center is being set up. The airline is directly contacting the families to offer special assistance.

Flight 4U 9525 departed Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN) at 9:01 a.m. GMT, 26 minutes behind schedule, bound for Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS). Approximately 45 minutes after takeoff, the aircraft began a steady descent from a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet. Eight minutes later, the A320-200 crashed into the French Alps.

Tuesday’s crash marks the first fatal accident for the Lufthansa subsidiary, as well as the first fatal accident for the German airline conglomerate since 1993. 4U 9525 was also the second fatal crash of an A320-200 in four months, preceded by Indonesian AirAsia Flight 8501, which crashed into the Java Sea in December.

[Photos: Thomas Koehler via CNN; FlightAware.com]

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