Investigators rule out mid-air explosion as cause of Alps crash

Weather also not to blame say French experts, who have extracted data from the black box

Rémi Jouty, head of the French Investigation and Analysis Bureau, during his press conference on Wednesday.
Rémi Jouty, head of the French Investigation and Analysis Bureau, during his press conference on Wednesday.

French investigators searching for clues that will shed light on the Germanwings plane crash have ruled out an explosion in mid-flight as the cause of the tragedy.

The size of the fuselage fragments found on the ground were not in keeping with such an occurrence, they said.

The experts also said they had found usable audio material inside the cockpit voice recorder. “We have the sound and the voices of the entire flight, right up until the impact,” said Rémi Jouty, director of the Investigation and Analysis Bureau (BEA). “But we still don’t have precise information.”

However, the official would not provide details about the moment when the black box stopped recording the pilots’ voices.

We don’t have, to date, any element of the second black box. But I don’t remember other accidents in which it was in several pieces” Rémi Jouty, director of the Investigation and Analysis Bureau

“I cannot say whether the pilots were conscious,” he said. “There are voices, but I cannot add anything more. We don’t know who is talking, we need time to clear up these details, it’s not that easy.”

Jouty did say that the engine did not stop running, and that the weather was not regarded as a cause of the crash.

“We have recovered all the meteorological data. There is no information suggesting that it was a factor that caused the accident,” he said.

Despite early reports that the flight data recorder had also been found, Jouty said this was not the case.

“We don’t have, to date, any element of the second black box. But I don’t remember other accidents in which it was in several pieces,” he said.

“We have asked our Spanish colleagues for information regarding the departure delay in Barcelona,” he added.

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