Lufthansa CEO promises to help victims' families for as long as needed as he visits crash site
Marseille prosecutor says "so far no videos were used in the crash investigation" despite media reports
Journalists at Bild and Paris Match are "very confident" a video clip is real, an editor says
The French prosecutor leading an investigation into the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 insisted Wednesday that he was not aware of any video footage from on board the plane.
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, in charge of the criminal inquiry into the crash, told CNN that “so far no videos were used in the crash investigation.”
He added, “A person who has such a video needs to immediately give it to the investigators.”
Robin’s comments follow claims by two publications, German daily Bild and French Paris Match, of a cell phone video showing the harrowing final seconds from on board the flight as it crashed into the French Alps on March 24. Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is accused of deliberately bringing down the plane, killing all 150 on board.
Paris Match and Bild reported that the video was recovered from a phone at the wreckage site.
The two publications described the supposed video but did not post it on their websites. They said that they watched the video, which was found by a source close to the investigation.
“One can hear cries of ‘My God’ in several languages,” Paris Match reported. “Metallic banging can also be heard more than three times, perhaps of the pilot trying to open the cockpit door with a heavy object. Towards the end, after a heavy shake, stronger than the others, the screaming intensifies. Then nothing.”
“It is a very disturbing scene,” said Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief of Bild online.
An official with France’s air accident investigation agency, the BEA, said the agency was not aware of any such video.
Lt. Col. Jean-Marc Menichini, a French Gendarmerie spokesman in charge of communications on rescue efforts around the Germanwings crash site, told CNN that the reports were “completely wrong” and “unwarranted.”
Cell phones have been collected at the site, he said, but added that they “hadn’t been exploited yet.”
Editor ‘very confident’ clip is real
Menichini said he believed the cell phones would need to be sent to the Criminal Research Institute in Rosny-sous-Bois, near Paris, to be analyzed by specialized technicians working hand in hand with investigators. But none of the cell phones found so far has been sent to the institute, Menichini said.
Asked whether staff involved in the search could have leaked a memory card to the media, Menichini answered with a categorical “no.”
Reichelt told CNN’s “Erin Burnett: Outfront” that he had watched the video and stood by the report, saying Bild and Paris Match are “very confident” that the clip is real.
He noted that investigators only revealed they’d recovered cell phones from the crash site after Bild and Paris Match published their reports.
“That is something we did not know before. … Overall we can say many things of the investigation weren’t revealed by the investigation at the beginning,” he said.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr expressed his “deep sorrow” Wednesday over the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 and promised to help the victims’ families for as long as they need.
Speaking as he visited the crash site in the French Alps, he said, “There is not a single hour where we don’t think about this terrible accident, the victims and the relatives and friends of these victims.
“We are learning more every day about the cause of the accident, but I think it will take a long, long time for everybody, all of us, to understand how this could happen.”
Spohr also thanked all those involved in the investigation and recovery efforts as well as local residents for their response to the devastating crash.
He added a wreath to the pile of flowers left by grieving families at a simple stone memorial set up in the village of Le Vernet, the closest accessible point to the crash site.
A memorial service was also to take place Wednesday in the town of Haltern, Germany, which lost 16 students and two teachers in the crash.
Lufthansa confirmed Tuesday that co-pilot Lubitz had battled depression years before he took the controls of Germanwings Flight 9525.
Lubitz told his Lufthansa flight training school in 2009 that he had a “previous episode of s