Investigators search for clues into Germanwings crash

A320 flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf crashed after rapid descent
A search and recovery operation continues in the southern French Alps after the crash on Tuesday of a Germanwings plane, killing all 150 people on board. Poor weather means the operation – in a remote ravine between Digne and Barcelonnette – could last for days.
Officials say that 67 of the 144 passengers on Flight 4U 9525 were German citizens, more than 40 were Spanish. At least one Danish citizen was also believed to have been on board and others were from Australia, Turkey, the Netherlands, the UK and Belgium.
The cockpit voice recorder has been found. It was damaged in the crash, but it could still provide information. A key aim of the search now is to find the second box, the flight data recorder.
The A320, flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, crashed after a rapid eight-minute descent from a normal cruising altitude of 38,000ft, but no distress signal was sent out. Weather was reportedly good at the time and terrorism has been discounted as a cause. This suggests the pilots were too busy dealing with something catastrophic, the BBC suggests, such as “both engines failing, a fuel problem or something critical breaking off the aircraft”.
The plane was fairly old, with 24 years of service, but aviation experts say that this should not be a factor. Both the aircraft type and Germanwings, a low-cost Lufthansa subsidiary, have excellent safety records.
[photo courtesy Germanwings]