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Remains found at crash site

March 27, 2015

French police have found roughly 400 pieces of human remains in the French Alps where a Germanwings flight crashed on Tuesday. Officials say they have not found any intact bodies.

Image: Reuters/E. Eric Gaillard

French police working to recover the remains of the 150 people who died when Germanwings flight 4U9525 crashed into the French Alps on Tuesday have only managed to find fragments of human remains.

Colonel Patrick Touron, speaking from the French Alps town of Seyne-les-Alpes on Friday, said: "We haven't found a single body intact."

Touron, a member of the gendarme service, said DNA samples had been taken from objects provided by victims' families, such as toothbrushes, that could help to identify victims.

Jewelry and other personal objects could help with the identification process, Touron added.

Doctor's note hidden from employer

Meanwhile, the prosecutors' office in Düsseldorf said on Friday that searches of Andreas Lubitz's flat in the western German city, as well as the home of his parents in the small town of Montabaur in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, had failed to turn up any letter declaring his intention to crash the plane or commit suicide.

"However, documents of a medical nature were seized, which point to an existing illness and medical treatment," a statement released by senior prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrück said. He added that the torn up sick notes, which were valid for the day of the crash, supported "the current preliminary assessment that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and colleagues."

No details about the nature of the apparent illness were given, but the statement said investigators intended to conduct a number of interviews and consult the pilot's medical records as a result of finding the sick notes.

'Deliberately steered' into a mountain

On Thursday. Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin told a press conference that after evaluating the contents of the Airbus A320's cockpit voice recorder, French investigators had determined that the 27-year-old co-pilot, who was alone in the cockpit at the time of the crash, had deliberately steered the Germanwings plane into the side of a mountain in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.

jlw/kms (Reuters, dpa, AFP, AP)