Germanwings video ‘shows cabin chaos’

Updated 01 April 2015

Germanwings video ‘shows cabin chaos’

LE VERNET: The heads of Lufthansa and Germanwings paid their respects Wednesday near the crash site of the plane that slammed into the French Alps, after reports a video had emerged showing the final terrifying seconds in the cabin.
Carsten Spohr and Thomas Winkelmann’s visit comes at a time of intense scrutiny on Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings and has revealed it was aware that the co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing the airliner had suffered from severe depression.
Lufthansa said 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz had told the airline in 2009 about his illness after interrupting his flight training.
Flight 4U9525 crashed in the French Alps last week at a speed of 700 kilometers an hour, killing all 150 people on board.
Lufthansa’s Spohr and Germanwings chief Winkelmann arrived at Seyne-les-Alpes near the crash site aboard a helicopter, later making their way to the village of Le Vernet where they laid a wreath at the foot of a memorial erected for the victims.
Spohr then read out a statement to reporters, but refused to answer a torrent of questions.
There are “no words to describe how terrible this accident is,” he said, thanking rescue teams and locals for their support in the aftermath of the March 24 disaster and promising continued help for the victims’ relatives.
The crash, which caused shock worldwide, continues to make headlines, with French and German media saying they have seen a video purportedly showing the final seconds inside the cabin of the doomed airliner, which they said was shot on a mobile phone.
“The scene was so chaotic that it was hard to identify people, but the sounds of the screaming passengers made it perfectly clear that they were aware of what was about to happen to them,” said French weekly Paris Match.
People were heard crying “My God” in several languages, the magazine said.
Investigators say the plane’s cockpit voice recorder indicated Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed the plane.
Paris Match said “metallic banging” could be heard more than three times — tallying with reports that the pilot tried to smash down the cockpit door with an axe.
French police poured cold water on the magazine’s footage claims, telling CNN the reports were “completely wrong.”
Meanwhile, authorities Wednesday started gathering the personal belongings of victims at the remote crash site.
In Berlin on Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande said authorities hoped identification of all 150 passengers would be possible within a week, though investigators have previously said it could take weeks and some may never be identified due to the extent of the devastation.
Some 450 relatives have visited the site so far, a local official said Tuesday.
Lufthansa said $300 million had been earmarked to cover the damages, while Germanwings will immediately compensate each family with 50,000 euros — a sum that will not be deducted from any final compensation deal.


Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

Updated 23 February 2020

Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

  • Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it
  • The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India

NEW DELHI: Police used tear gas to disperse large crowds in India’s capital of New Delhi on Sunday in the latest eruption of violence at protests over a new citizenship law, police officials said.
Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it, with the two groups pelting each other with stones in the Maujpur area in the northeastern part of the city, according to television footage.
“There must be some miscreants who want to spoil the peace in the area. We will identify them and take action against them,” Alok Kumar, a senior Delhi police official, told reporters about the protest.
“The situation is under control now,” he added.
The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India, where he is expected to raise the issue of religious freedom in the country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, which eases the path for non-Muslims from neighboring Muslim-majority nations to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests against Modi’s government.
The Indian law is seen by opponents as discriminating against Muslims and has deepened concerns that Modi’s administration is undermining India’s secular traditions.
Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party denies any bias against the country’s 180 million Muslims.
On Sunday, a separate protest also erupted in the northern Indian city of Aligarh, where protesters threw stones at the police, state administration official Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
The Internet in the area had been suspended until midnight, he added.