French police deny reports of Germanwings crash video – CBS News

Last Updated Mar 31, 2015 4:14 PM EDT

French investigators have contradicted reports by two European media outlets who claimed a video was found at the crash site of Germanwings Flight 9525 showing the terrifying moments inside the passenger jet before it slammed into a mountain in the French Alps last week.

A spokesman told CBS News’ Elaine Cobbe that although cell phones have been recovered, investigators have not yet examined their contents and that he was not aware that any of them were in good enough condition to have accessible data.

On Tuesday, French magazine Paris Match and German newspaper Bild am Sonntag said their reporters have been shown a video they say was taken by someone inside the cabin of the doomed plane shortly before it crashed.

Both periodicals reported that the video was found on a memory chip that could have come from a cellphone. Paris Match said the footage was found “among the wreckage by a source close to the investigation.”

Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin, overseeing the French criminal investigation into the crash, told the AP Tuesday night that no cell phone video has been found from the plane.

Lieutenant Col. Jean-Marc Menichini, a high ranking official involved in the recovery operation, categorically denied that any cell phone footage had been found by investigators at the site.

According to Cobbe, the reporter from Paris Match said he had “access” to the video and, after watching it, is confident it is genuine. The reporter declined to reveal the source of the video.

Bild said that “even though the scene on board is chaotic and completely shaky, and no individual person can be identified, the accuracy of the video is beyond question.”

Paris Match says the video corroborates some of the contents of the plane’s cockpit recording. On Sunday, French officials refused to confirm or deny a partial transcript that Bild said it had obtained of the cockpit recording.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa said Tuesday that it knew six years ago that Lubitz week had suffered from a “serious depressive episode.”

The airline said that as part of its internal research it found emails that Lubitz sent to the Lufthansa flight school in Bremen when he resumed his training there after an interruption of several months.

In them, he informed the school that he had suffered a “serious depressive episode,” which had since subsided.

The airline said Lubitz subsequently passed all medical checks and that it has provided the documents to prosecutors. It declined to make any further comment.

The revelation that officials Lufthansa had been informed of Lubitz’s psychological problems raises further questions about why he was allowed to become a pilot for its subsidiary, Germanwings, in September 2013.

Authorities say the 27-year-old Lubitz, who in the past had been treated for suicidal tendencies, locked his captain out of the cockpit before deliberately crashing the Airbus 320 into a mountain in the French Alps on March 24. All 150 people aboard Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf were killed.

Earlier Tuesday, Lufthansa said it had set aside $300 million to deal with possible costs from the crash as French aviation investigators said they were examining “systemic weaknesses” like cockpit entry rules and psychological screening procedures that could have led to the Germanwings plane crash — issues that could eventually change worldwide aviation practices.


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