Alps Plane Crash: Search For Victims’ Bodies Ends
The French authorities say they have ended the search for bodies at the site where a Germanwings co-pilot is said to have crashed his aircraft in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
Identification of the victims will continue with analysis of the DNA found and debris will carry on being removed.
Meanwhile reports said the European Commission took issue with Germany’s aviation authority before the crash.
Wall Street Journal said it was told to “remedy long-standing problems”.
The newspaper reported that the aviation authority, the Luftfahrtbundesamt (LBA), was told in November to sort out problems including a lack of staff which could have limited its ability to carry out checks on planes and crew.
In light of investigators believing co-pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed the plane deliberately, the way airline crew are vetted has come under scrutiny.
The European Aviation Safety Agency “had pointed out several cases of non-conformity,” spokesman Dominique Fouda told AFP news agency.
A European Commission spokesman said: “All EU member states have findings and this is a normal and regular occurrence.
“It is part of a continuous system of oversight – findings are followed by corrective action, similar to an audit process.”
A spokeswoman for the LBA said the authority had answered several criticisms levelled at it during the audits and those responses were now being assessed by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
France’s air accident authority has said its investigations will include a study of “systemic weaknesses” that could have led to the disaster, including psychological profiling.
Lufthansa, the parent company of budget airline Germanwings, has said Lubitz disclosed that he had had severe depression in 2009 while training for his pilot’s licence.
It has also emerged that he received treatment for suicidal tendencies at one point before getting his pilot’s licence.
German prosecutors found torn-up sick notes at Lubitz’s home, including one covering the day of the crash.
He was also found to have researched suicide methods and cockpit security on a tablet computer in the days preceding the disaster.
Lufthansa’s chief executive Carsten Spohr has said he is “very very sorry that such a terrible accident could have happened” and that the airline was utterly unaware of any health issues that could have compromised Lubitz’s fitness to fly.
The company has put aside $300m (€280m; £200m) to cover possible compensation claims arising from the crash.