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Second Germanwings black box could still 'give hope'

French prosecutors have said there is still "reasonable hope" that the second black box from the crashed Germanwings flight could be useful. One hundred and fifty sets of DNA have also been found.

French prosecutor Brice Robin said at a press conference in Marseille on Thursday that the second flight recorder was "possibly usable." It is hoped the black box will provide more clues to the crash, despite the extent of damage which has left it "completely blackened."

The second flight recorder was recovered on Thursday following a nine-day search in the crash site area in southern France.

'Deliberate' crash

The first voice recorder suggested that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately locked the cockpit prior to intentionally crashing the Airbus320 in the French Alps last week.

French prosecutor Brice Robin

French prosecutor Brice Robin: still 'reasonable hope'

Robin also said at the press conference on Thursday that 150 separate DNA profiles had been isolated from the site in the French Alps.

The French prosecutor stressed, however, that the discovery did not necessarily mean that all 150 victims had been found.

Forty cellphones have also been found at the crash site in a "very, very damaged" condition, Robin added.

'Cockpit door' internet searches

Earlier on Thursday, German state prosecutors said a computer seized from Lubitz's home in the western German city of Düsseldorf showed searches had been made on cockpit doors and their safety precautions as well as suicide methods.

"On at least one day, the person also spent several minutes trying out search terms for cockpit doors and their security protection," German prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrück said.

Germanwings co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz

Germanwings co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz

"The browser history wasn't erased, in particular the search terms called up on this device in the period from March 16 to March 23 were able to be retraced," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Interrupted training

German prosecutors previously said the 27-year-old co-pilot was diagnosed as suicidal "several years ago"- before he became a pilot. Lubitz informed Lufthansa about his illness in 2009 after interrupting his flight training.

Two days after the crash, Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr said Lubitz had passed all medical and psychological tests to obtain a student pilot certificate including the one from the US Federal Aviation Authority in 2010.

ksb/rc (Reuters, AFP)

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