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ALPS PLANE CRASH

PLANE CRASH

Crash victims could be identified by week’s end

All the bodies on the doomed Germanwings flight that crashed in the Alps one week ago could be identified by the end of the week, the French President said on Tuesday.

Crash victims could be identified by week's end
A huge recovery operation is underway at the crash site to try and identify the bodies of the victims.

French President Francois Hollande said that it would be possible to identify all the victims of the Germanwings crash in the French Alps by the end of the week.

He told a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve had confirmed that "by the end of the week at the latest, it will be possible to identify all the victims" due to DNA and "exceptional" scientific work.

A huge and harrowing recovery operation is underway to try to recover body parts from among the masses of debris at the scene of the crash.

Rescuers who have visited the scene have described how everything was "pulverised" and there were no body parts ébigger than the size of a briefcase".

French authorities had initially warned that it could take weeks if not months for all of the 150 bodies to be identified. Although on Saturday it was revealed that as many as 80 victims had already been identified due to DNA

Somewhere in there lies the second "black box" recorder, which gathered technical data on the flight, and has yet to be found.

Search teams are having to dig into the loose earth on the assumption the black box has been buried, the policeman said.

He added they have removed "more than 4,000 pieces" of plane and human remains.

The search was expected to finish by April 8, after which a civilian clean-up group, funded by airline owner Lufthansa, will tidy up the site.

It is exactly a week since the Germanwings jet crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 on board instantly.

French investigators said on Tuesday they would now concentrate on "the systemic weaknesses" that might have caused the disaster, including the logic of locking cockpit doors from the inside, which was introduced in 2001 to stop terrorist attacks.

It said it would also look into procedures for detecting "specific psychologic profiles" in pilots after indications that Lubitz may have suffered from depression.

Authorities believe co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately locked the plane on a collision course with the mountain and are scouring his background for a possible motive.

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PLANE CRASH

Father and twin daughters die in light plane crash in France

A father and his twin teenage daughters died on Monday when their light aircraft crashed in central France in as yet unexplained circumstances, the rescue services said.

Father and twin daughters die in light plane crash in France
Mountain range in France's Puy-de-Dome department. Photo: Alpha du centaure/Flickr

“The accident occurred at 12:30 pm (1030 GMT). The plane crashed and broke up without catching fire,” the rescue services said, confirming a report in the local La Montagne newspaper.

The circumstances of the accident, which involved a single-engine two-seater aircraft, were not yet clear.

“The weather conditions were actually quite good at the time of the accident,” the rescue services said.

The crash occurred in a mountainous area in the Mazoires commune of the Puy-de-Dome department.

The father, who was said to be aged “about 40” and his 14-year-old twin daughters were from the Paris region.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash.

There has already been a number of accidents involving light aircraft in France this summer, including one in the Ardennes on July 28 in which the pilot and one of three passengers were killed.

Two people were also killed on July 17 when their aircraft crashed in Corsica and two others will killed in accident in Les Mureaux, northwest of Paris.  

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