Europe

Germanwings crash video 'must be handed to investigators'

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Media captionThe latest footage of the crash site area has been released by French officials

A lead investigator into the Germanwings crash has called for anyone with footage of the disaster to hand it over to the authorities.

French prosecutor Brice Robin said he was not aware of a video, reported by German and French media, showing the last seconds before the crash.

Bild and Paris Match said on Tuesday they had mobile phone footage from inside the plane.

Airline bosses spoke of their regret on a visit to the crash site on Wednesday.

Their statement comes amid mounting questions about how much the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz's employers knew about his mental health after it emerged he had disclosed a previous bout of "severe depression".

A recording from the cockpit of the aircraft suggests Lubitz, 27, deliberately caused the disaster, killing all 150 on board.

'Sound of screaming'

Mr Robin said investigators were not yet examining mobile phones found at the crash site, and he was not aware of footage from phones having been recovered.

German newspaper Bild and French news magazine Paris Match said they had obtained a video which recorded the sound of passengers screaming and the sound of a metal object striking the cockpit door.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mobile phones found at the crash site have not yet been analysed, officials say

Anyone with footage "must hand it over immediately to investigators," AFP news agency quoted the French prosecutor as saying on Wednesday.

'Place of mourning'

Thomas Winkelmann, chief executive of Germanwings, and Carsten Spohr, head of the parent company Lufthansa, visited Seyne-les-Alpes on Wednesday to inspect recovery operations based there.

The Lufthansa boss said it would take a "long, long time" for investigators to establish the cause of the crash, and said "we're sorry" over the disaster.

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Media captionThere were angry scenes from journalists when the CEOs refused to answer questions

Thanking rescue workers and local residents, Mr Spohr said: "Everybody at Lufthansa knows how hard this work has been... We are very grateful."

"We know the burden that has been put on this area, where nothing is the same anymore.

"We will do everything we can to turn this place into a place of mourning for relatives of the victims, and to restore this beautiful countryside."

They laid a wreath at a memorial to those killed but refused to take questions from journalists about the investigation.

Mr Spohr had previously said that Lufthansa was not aware of anything that could have driven the co-pilot to crash the Airbus A320.

Who were the victims?

Image copyright Various
Image caption The faces of some of the passengers on board the Airbus 320
  • From 18 countries on board, although most were Spanish or German
  • Sixteen students and two of their teachers, from Joseph-Koenig school in Haltern, western Germany, were travelling back from a Spanish exchange trip
  • Marina Bandres Lopez-Belio, a Spanish filmmaker living in Manchester, was travelling back from a funeral with her seven-month old son Julian Pracz-Bandres
  • Opera singers Maria Radner and Oleg Bryjak had been performing in Barcelona. Radner's husband and baby were also on the plane
  • German media named the captain of the flight as Patrick Sonderheimer. It is believed he had gone to the toilet shortly after take-off, leaving co-pilot Lubitz in charge of the aircraft

Read more stories of the victims

German pupils devastated by deaths of classmates

The plane went down on 24 March as it travelled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, killing all 150 people on board. The victims included babies, exchange students, two opera singers and football reporters.

A memorial service is due to take place later on Wednesday in Haltern, Germany, for the 16 exchange students and their two teachers who died.

None of the victims was found intact after the plane's 700kph (430mph) impact, but different strands of DNA have been identified at the site. Teams are still searching for a second flight recorder.

Lufthansa said on Tuesday it had set aside $300m (€280m; £200m) to deal with possible costs from the crash, as French aviation investigators said they were examining "systemic weaknesses" that could have led to the disaster.

Andreas Lubitz: Germanwings co-pilot

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Andreas Lubitz left no letter, investigators say
  • Started training in 2008, at Lufthansa flight school in Bremen and in Arizona
  • Took a break from flight school and sent information about a depressive episode to instructors in 2009
  • Subsequently passed all medical tests and eventually secured his licence
  • Working as co-pilot, or first officer, since 2013. Appeared pleased with his job
  • Lived in town of Montabaur, near Frankfurt, reportedly with his parents. Kept a flat in Duesseldorf and had many friends
  • Facebook profile suggests the active lifestyle of a keen runner, with an interest in pop music

Who was Andreas Lubitz?