Investigation Isolates DNA from 78 Victims of Germanwings Plane Crash

World | March 29, 2015, Sunday // 22:17|  views

Search and rescue workers make their way through debris at the crash site of the Germanwings Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps, above the town of Seyne-les-Alpes, southeastern France, 26 March 2015. EPA/BGNES

Investigators of the crash of the Germanwings plane said on Sunday they have isolated 78 DNA strands from the remains of the 150 people that died in the worst aviation disaster in French history in the last 15 years.

Most human remains were being winched up to helicopters before being transported to a lab where a 50-strong team of forensic doctors and dentists and criminal police specialists is working to identify the victims, comparing their DNA samples to samples taken over the past days from relatives of the deceased.

However, investigators have denied German media reports that body parts of German co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who is suspected of having deliberately steered the Airbus 320 into a mountainside in the French Alps on Tuesday, had been identified.

The suspicion is based on a transcript from the cockpit voice recorder which has been recovered. The other so-called black box containing recordings of flight data hasn’t been found yet, according to the BBC.

German and European pilots’ associations have urged caution in stating the cause of the crash until the flight data recorder is found and the investigation is brought to a conclusion.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, who is one of the lead investigators, said the construction of a road that will allow all-terrain vehicles to access the steep and remote mountainside, would be completed by Monday evening. 

According to French investigators, the plane has crashed at a speed of 700 kilometres per hour, killing all 150 people on board, most of them German and Spanish.

The debris of the crashed aircraft is scatered across an area covering about two hectares with some slopes as steep as 60 degrees near the village of Le Vernet.


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Tags: Brice Robin, France, DNA, Lubitz, Germanwings, crash


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