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Search, investigation teams resume work at A320 crash site in French Alps

March 25, 2015, 10:52 UTC+3 PARIS
Forensic experts are expected to shortly arrive to the site to collect remains of the dead and prepare them for identification
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© EPA/PETER KNEFFEL
© EPA/ALBERTO ESTEVEZ

PARIS, March 25. /TASS/. Search and investigation work has resumed at the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps near Digne on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board.

Forensic experts are expected to shortly arrive to the site to collect remains of the dead and prepare them for identification. Aviation specialists from investigation teams of Germany and France as well as French juridical police also work at the crash site.

Seyne-les-Alpsis the only nearby settlement, having a small airfield. The town with the population of 1,500 people is now receiving more than 350 gendarmes and 300 specialists from of fire and rescue services, numerous officials from ministries and agencies. Two airplanes and 15 helicopters are engaged in transport operations and investigation work.

About a dozen of gendarmes have been helicoptered to the area and winched down into the ravine where thousands of debris are scattered on mountainsides. According to rescuers, these are small debris, the biggest being part of the hull with two windows.

Gendarmes take measures to have the site the way it was during the crash, which is very difficult as chilly rain and rock fall continue in the area.

Experts draw attention to the fact that none of the passengers had sent any sms-text as the plane was descending. They believe this is because the descent was not sharp, and passengers mistook it for a routine maneuver to change the altitude.

The plane was descending at a speed of about 900 meters a minute. The reasons why the crew did not report an emergency situation are not clear. Batteries catching fire in the compartment next to the cabin and even food poisoning of both pilots are not ruled out.

Flight 4U 9525 was travelling between Barcelona and Dusseldorf, coming down in a remote area of the French Alps. It was carrying six crew and 144 passengers, including nationals of Spain, Great Britain, Germany, Turkey, Argentina, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Australia, Mexico and Japan.

Germanwings is a low-cost carrier owned by Lufthansa, Germany’s biggest airline.

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