Date
20 November 2017
Aerial shots of debris from the Germanwings plane that crashed into southern French Alps early Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board. Credit: Reuters
Aerial shots of debris from the Germanwings plane that crashed into southern French Alps early Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board. Credit: Reuters

Black box studied after plane crash in French Alps kills 150

French authorities are examining a “black box” cockpit voice recorder (CVR) that has been recovered following a plane crash early Tuesday in a remote section of southern Alps, killing all 150 people on board.

Investigators are puzzled as to why the crew did not send out a mayday signal as a Germanwings plane began descending one minute after reaching its cruising height and continued losing altitude for eight minutes before crashing into a rocky ravine in the French Alps, The Guardian reported.

Germanwings is a low-cost subsidiary of Lufthansa. The aircraft was on its way to Dusseldorf after taking off from Barcelona in Spain.

In the last 10 minutes of the flight there was total radio silence from the crew. 

French prime minister Manuel Valls said a helicopter crew had landed near the crash site and found no survivors. Aerial photos indicated that the plane was pulverized.

As the CVR was being analyzed, another French official said the search for bodies and a second black box on the isolated, rocky site had been called off for the evening and would resume at dawn on Wednesday.

The plane crashed at an altitude of about 2,000 meters at Meolans-Revels, near the popular ski resort of Pra Loup. 

Among the dead passengers were two babies, and 16 German school pupils returning from an exchange trip to Spain with their two teachers.

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FL/RC

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