- 'Usable' audio recovered from first black box
- Casing of second black box found
- Hollande, Merkel, and Rajoy visit scene
- IN PICTURES: A timeline of the Alps plane crash
- VIDEO footage shows devastation at crash site
17:50 – That rounds up our coverage on day two of what has been ranked as one of France's worst air disasters of all time.
(President Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Spain's PM Mariano Rajoy. Photo: AFP)
17:33 – 'Too early to tell if accident'
The press conference by investigators from BEA continues with director Remi Jouty saying it's too early to say whether it was an accident or whether there was any intentional interference. He confirms that weather conditions in the area were not extreme.
They will go ahead with a transcription of the audio file.
17:30 – Last contact a routine call
The last contact between plane and air traffic control was a routine call to confirm the route that the plane would take. Around a minute or so later the aircraft started to descend and continued to do so until it hit the mountain.
The plane was followed on the radar almost until the moment of impact.
17:25 – "No explanation so far for crash"
Chief air investigator Remi Jouty says at this stage they still cannot explain why the plane might have crashed. He says no theory is being ruled out at this stage, including that of a possible terrorist attack.
(Remi Jouty at the press conference. Photo: BFM TV screengrab)
17:22 – Air investigators 'optimistic'
The BEA press conference continues with director Remi Jouty saying they are optimistic about the investigation given that they have obtained a "usable audio file" from the black box.
Jouty says investigators have listened to the file once and confirms voices can be heard, but refuses to divulge anymore information. He says its not been possible to tell who the voices belong too.
17:20 – Investigators: 'usable audio file' extracted from Germanwings black box
French air investigators from BEA says they have managed to obtain an audio file from the damaged black box that is “usable”.
But they said they haven’t been able to fully analyse the recording as of yet.
At the press conference the BEA representative is batting away further questions about the content of the audio data, saying it is still too early at this stage to draw any conclusions.
17:11 – Hollande confirms casing of second black box recovered
17:00 – Merkel offers condolences
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has written in a book of condolences that have been opened at Seyne-Les-Alps near the scene of the crash.
"My deepest sympathies with the families and all my thanks for the friendship of the people of this region and in France," she wrote.
For his part Hollande wrote: "Tribute to the victims. Support to the families."
16:58 – Crash site 'off limits' for two weeks
The French president is giving a press conference alongside Angela Merkel and Mariano Rajoy.
"We are here in memory of the victims," he told reporters.
"One hundred and fifty people died in this terrible disaster. Children, pupils, entire families, not to mention the crew. I speak on behalf of France, Angela Merkel and Mariano Rajoy in sharing out most sincere condolences. France is by your side in these times, as it is with all affected countries affected by this ordeal."
(Photo: Screengrab – BFM TV)
"Everything will be done to ensure we find, identify and recover the bodies of their victims and return them to their families."
— Anne Brigaudeau (@AnneBrigaudeau) March 25, 2015
We can confirm deaths of 2 US citizens, are reviewing records to determine whether other US citizens might have been on board. #Germanwings
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 25, 2015
— Josep M. Mainat (@MainatJM) March 24, 2015
— Rory Mulholland (@mulhollandrory) March 25, 2015
— Élysée (@Elysee) March 25, 2015
— The Local France (@TheLocalFrance) March 25, 2015
— The Local Germany (@TheLocalGermany) March 25, 2015
Winkelmann said that Germanwings was still working on establishing the nationalities of all the victims, a task complicated by the fact that some passengers had dual nationality.
Here is the first look at the black box voice recorder from the pilot's cockpit, broadcast by French news channel BFM TV. A French prosecutor said investigators hope to make initial findings from the evidence on the black box later on Wednesday.
(Photo: BFM TV screengrab)
13:00 – Families expected at site of crash
Preparations are being made to welcome the dozens of grieving family members that are en route to the crash site in the French Alps. A team of psychologists and trauma counsellors will be on hand to offer support to the families.
Language teachers from around the area have also been drafted in to help with interpretation problems. Accommodation for 900 people has been arranged in the local area.
12:30 – Spain raises number of dead to 49
The number of Spanish nationals killed in the plane crash has risen to 49. An initial figure of 45 was given on Tuesday but Madrid has now increased that number to 49. A full list of passengers and names has still not been released, leading many to question authorities. Germanwings insist they won't release it until all the families of passengers have been informed.
12:06 – Minute's silence observed in Germany and Spain
— Jessica Jones (@jessicajones590) March 25, 2015
A French prosecutor has said investigators hope to make initial findings from the evidence on the black box recorders later on Wednesday afternoon.
11:49 – Lufthansa insists plane was in 'perfect condition'
Lufthansa chief Carsten Spohr said on Wednesday that the plane of its Germanwings subsidiary that crashed in the French Alps was "in perfect condition", AFP reports.
"It is inexplicable," he said when asked if he had further information on the cause of the crash Tuesday that claimed the lives of 144 passengers and six crew.
"The plane was in perfect condition and the two pilots were experienced."
— Gran Teatre Liceu (@Liceu_cat) March 24, 2015
Here is some more footage from the site, courtesy of the Guardian newspaper, with comments from Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. He confirms that there is very little hope of finding survivors.
— wim geerts (@wjpgeerts) March 25, 2015
(Debris from the wreckage. Photo: AFP)
— Tom Barfield (@tombarfield) March 25, 2015
Spain's parliament is planning to hold a minute's silence at noon to remember the victims of the Germanwings crash.
Mañana a las 12, en la escalinata de la Puerta de los Leones, minuto de silencio en memoria de las víctimas del accidente aéreo #Germanwings
— Congreso (@Congreso_Es) March 24, 2015
09:58 – Merkel, Hollande, Rajoy due at site at 2pm
The French president will join German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spain's PM Mariano Rajoy at the scene of the crash at 2pm. They are expected to meet with the families of some of the victims who are also being flown to the area, as well as police and air investigators whose job it is to search the site.
09:50 – One Danish national among the dead
Although a full passenger list has not been released yet, details are emerging of the nationalities of the 144 passengers on the plane.
Our sister site in Denmark is reporting that a Danish national is among the victims. British, Colombian and Argentine nationals are also believed to have been on board along with 67 Germans and 45 Spaniards.
09:49 – Spain's Rajoy travelling to site
France's interior minister said investigators are looking into all possible causes of Tuesday's Germanwings crash in the French Alps, but he appeared to rule out the likelihood of a terrorist attack.
"The debris from the plane is spread over one and a half hectares, which is a significant area because the shock was significant but it shows that the plane did not appear to have exploded," Bernard Cazeneuve told French radio station RTL.
The theory of a terrorist attack is "not the theory we're focusing on," Cazeneuve said.
09:18 – 'A week to search the crash site'
One official says it will take a week to comb the wreckage of the crash site, given that debris is spread over a huge area.
This video gives an idea of the scale of the task facing investigators.
09:15 – Lufthansa retires flight number
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 25, 2015
09:05 – "Body parts no bigger than a briefcase"
The horrific scene faced by the air investigators and rescue teams is becoming clear from some of the stories emerging from those who have visited the crash site.
"The biggest body parts we identified are not bigger than a briefcase," one investigator said.
More than 300 policemen and 380 firefighters have been mobilised for the grisly task of searching the site.
Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Marc Menichini said a squad of 30 mountain rescue police would resume attempts to reach the crash site by helicopter at dawn Wednesday, while a further 65 police were seeking access on foot.
Five investigators had spent the night camped at the site.
It would take "at least a week" to search the remote site, he said.
"Ground access is horrible…. It's a very high mountainous area, very steep and it's terrible to get there except from the air during winter," local resident Francoise Pie said.
08:58 – Swedish football team has lucky escape
As is often the case after plane crashes stories are emerging about those who narrowly avoided being on the doomed flight for one reason or another.
Our sister site in Sweden has interviewed members of a Swedish football team who luckily booked themselves on to a different flight.
08:54 – 'Black box damaged but usable'
More on the damaged cockpit voice recorder, otherwise known as the black box from France's interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve. He confirms that it has been damaged but insists it is "usable". In other words he's hopeful that investigators can glean from it whatever they need to determine the cause of the crash.
08:50 – Specialist doctors sent to identify bodies
The harrowing task of identifying the bodies and remains of the 150 victims of the crash will fall to 10 specialist doctors who are being flown into the area on Wednesday.
08:44 – 'All hypotheses being looked at'
France's minister of the environment Ségoléne Royal has said all possible scenarios are being looked at to determine the cause of the crash but terrorism is not the main focus of the probe.
08:40 – Condolence books open near the site of crash
Condolence books are seen on March 24, 2015 in a sports hall in the southeastern French town of Seyne, near the site where a German Airbus A320 of the low-cost carrier Germanwings crashed, killing all 150 people on board.
the Airbus 320 jet wreckage.