Airbus crash cause still unclear after black box found – French interior minister

The causes of the German Airbus crash in the French Alps remain unclear as investigators study the black box flight recorder, France’s interior minister says.

PARIS, FRANCE (MARCH 25, 2015) (REUTERS) – France hoped that the examination of a black box flight recorder on Wednesday (March 25) recovered from the wreckage of a German Airbus in the French Alps would shed light on the circumstances of the crash which cost 150 lives.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters that all possible explanations were being considered as the investigation got underway.

“At present without the elements contained in the black box, it is very difficult to put forward any hypothesis concerning the circumstances of this tragedy. That’s why the prime minister explained yesterday that all hypotheses are still on the table, and of course the investigation will clarify, we hope as soon as possible, the circumstances of this tragedy,” he said.

He confirmed that French President Francois Hollande was due to visit the region accompanied by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

A large number of those killed on the flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf were Spanish and German, including 16 schoolchildren.

Cazeneuve said that the state was poised to facilitate the investigation with specialised teams of victim identification experts including 10 forensic doctors being deployed.

“We have also made arrangements to greet the families. I have asked the prefect of the Alpes de Haute-Provence to take all measures to ensure their accommodation and to welcome them with psychological support, which they will need when they arrive. These families left Germany, in particular, as soon as the crash was announced to get to the scene,” he said.

A series of welcome centres have been set up staffed with translators and psychiatric specialists to support the relatives of those who have visited the region.