French authorities have retrieved the cockpit voice recorder of Germanwings flight U49525, which could provide vital clues about the circumstances of the crash in the French Alps.
Germanwings flight U49525 took off from Barcelona en route to Dusseldorf at around 10:01 a.m.
The Airbus A320 was traveling with 144 passengers and six crew members from Barcelona to Dusseldorf on Tuesday. Forty-four minutes into the flight, the plane fell from 11,582 metres to 2,111 metres in eight minutes.
An air traffic control tower in Marseille lost radio contact with the plane at 10:53 a.m. local time when the plane reached 2,111 metres.
The plane crashed into France’s Estrop Mountain. The crash site is at an altitude of 2,700 metres on the steep mountainside. French officials say there are probably no survivors.
Witness Jean-Christophe told French radio that the plane “blew up completely”, according to Express.co.uk.
France TV also reported witnesses saying that there was an explosion after the plane crash.
An official said the plane had been “pulverised”, with small bits of wreckage strewn all over the mountainside. The cockpit voice recorder has been recovered at the crash site and investigators are examining it to assist with the investigation.
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