DNA of 78 Recovered From Alps Crash Site

Airbus chief blasts media coverage of disaster
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2015 4:34 AM CDT
DNA of 78 Recovered From Alps Crash Site
Priest Michael Dietrich, from the hometown of co-pilot Andeas Lubitz, talks during an interview with AP Television.   (AP Photo/AP Television)

Investigators carrying out the grim task of recovering wreckage and human remains from the Germanwings crash say they have not found an intact body—or the flight data recorder. To aid the search, an access road is being built to the remote site in the French Alps, where forensic teams have so far recovered DNA belonging to 78 of the 150 people killed, the Guardian reports. Investigators say that so far, only the empty protective casing of the black box has been found. In other developments:

  • Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is believed to have deliberately crashed the plane, but with the failure to find the flight's second black box, some in the aviation world are saying it is too early to rule out other causes. Airbus chairman Tom Enders slammed TV coverage of the crash in an interview published yesterday, Deutsche Welle reports. "Sometimes people there speculate, fantasize, and lie with no basis in fact," he said, calling some of the reporting "outrageous nonsense" that was a "mockery of the victims."

  • The cockpit voice recorder was recovered soon after the crash, and German newspaper Bild has published what it says is a leaked transcript. Capt. Patrick Sondenheimer (also spelled Sonderheimer or Sondheimer, depending on the source) can be heard pleading for Lubitz to let him back in the cabin, shouting, "Open the goddamn door!" as passengers scream minutes before impact, according to the transcript. A spokeswoman for France's accident investigation agency tells CNN that investigators are "dismayed" by the leak.
  • Over the weekend, there were reports that Lubitz suffered from a psychomatic illness that may have been linked to a vision problem.
  • German newspapers, including Bild, also reported that Lubitz's girlfriend, a teacher, was pregnant and the couple had planned to marry, according to the Independent.
  • In Lubitz's hometown of Montabaur, the local Lutheran pastor tells the AP that despite mounting evidence that Lubitz caused the crash, he was still part of the community and the church is standing by his family. He says Lubitz's mother is a part-time organist for the church and he knew the co-pilot as a teenager. "This does not make sense. It is incomprehensible for me, for us, for everyone who knew her and the family," he says.
(More Germanwings crash stories.)

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