Le Monde | • Updated | By
“Sprayed” . The word comes from the lips of all rescuers who have succeeded at the scene of the crash of the Airbus A320 Germanwings ten kilometers east of the town of Seyne-les-Alpes (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence ). They wear red uniforms of firefighters, blue or khaki national gendarmerie of the Air Force, all describe a plane turned into confetti. They speak of white spots on the ground like snow points are smaller cabin tips
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“Everything is sprayed, there is nothing discernible. We see nothing, we can not even distinguish a plane “, shows Lt. Eric Sapet group mountain Alpes-Maritimes firefighters, back in the area. On board a helicopter Civil Security, he was among the first rescuers hoisted deposited on the side of the mountain, a very steep terrain of marl and gullies.
A gendarme, lowering his helicopter says: “I can tell you that it’s not a pretty sight,” . It reflects the spread of very small debris. On the half-dozen large visible debris on site, the military has identified a landing gear only recognizable element. When asked about the body, his face closes his voice changes tone. “The most important human remains that we saw is not bigger than that suitcase,” he admits, pointing to a wealth of research brigade of the air transport group charge of the investigation.
At the foot of the village of Seyne les Alpes, a few houses on the hillside, the grassy field where usually fly gliders with a winch, quickly turned into a huge central station emergency. A vast barracks in this valley surrounded by snow-capped peaks, including the massive Three bishoprics, the direction taken by all helicopters and scrutinized by all eyes.
What the big domes green tarps serving as shelter for gliders, blue trucks gendarmes are aligned. On the other side of the field, came firefighters from all departments of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur waited all day, grounded arms, time to intervene but soon the hoping to find a wounded was abandoned. Gradually, over the course of the afternoon, firefighters have therefore returned to their barracks, leaving there as caterpillars, these devices that will Wednesday 25 March, when research resume, access to the scene.
The mobilization of emergency was exceptional. “Once we got the first elements on the disappearance of a unit, we are very quickly mounted power” , said Patricia Willaert, the prefect of the Alpes de Haute Provence.
Operate on site is “extremely complicated”
Many more massive than the other, a helicopter specialized air force in the search for victims on land and sea-based Solenzara in Corsica arrived at half past one area after the crash. He took over the air once acquired the certainty that there will be no survivors among the 150 people aboard the flight Barcelona-Düsseldorf.
According to Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Paul Bloy’s group Air Force of the National Gendarmerie, a helicopter EC 135 equipped with cameras was one of the first aircraft to fly over the disaster area to take pictures for investigators. Three EC 145 helicopters embarking Gendarmerie Platoon soldiers in High Mountain have deposited such harnessed specialists carabiners and carrying ice axes. “It will be extremely difficult to operate on-site” , provided John Paul Bloy by mid afternoon. The wreckage and bodies are scattered over an area of one hectare, a very steep area, steep. Located in the south face of the mountain massif of Heads at 1500 meters above sea level, places are not snow but the soil is very crumbly.
In the middle of the afternoon, the police resumed the hope of finding a survivor, movements have been levied on the area of the accident. He was a journalist. A mobile gendarmerie squadron come worthily les-Bains, was dispatched to the scene to “freeze the entire scene” , according to General David Galtier, commander of South Gendarmerie Legion Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Military also had to spend the night in the mountains to secure the area.
In this ballet of helicopters that operate large turns in the sky over the valley of the White, some devices lay officials. The first will be on site Brice Robin, prosecutor of Marseilles. Since the beginning of the year, the High Court of Marseille has jurisdiction to conduct investigations and trials of collective disasters in the spring of seven courts of appeal of the great southeast quarter. A new skill which had dictated the last week organizing a meeting of Marseille prosecutor to set up a contingency plan in case of accident to mobilize collective thirty prosecutors. On site, Brice Robin announced the opening of an investigation for manslaughter. Ten and three forensic anthropologists forensic medicine department of the University Hospital of Timone in Marseille were mobilized for identifying bodies “to make the family as soon as possible” .
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The prosecutor of Marseilles has also announced the opening in Madrid of an investigation by the prosecutor of the Hearing National. A black box of the aircraft was found. Investigators from the Research Brigade Marseille airlines have started down their devices in white and green plastic crates in the first exhibits.
“He, he goes not the dryer “
The interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve visited the youth of Seyne-les-Alpes, where a chapel will be installed. Upstairs, in the gym, tables were prepared with drinks and biscuits for families of victims of the crash. “We are in sympathy after the terrible drama” , said the Minister before listing “exceptional means,” – ten helicopters, three hundred firefighters and as many policemen. At his side, Susanne Wasum-Rainer, Ambassador of Germany to France, “thank the security and emergency forces mobilized in this disaster” .
In the late afternoon -Midi, Segolene Royal, Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy flew over the crash zone, accompanied by the ministers of transport Alexander Dobrindt German and Spanish Ana Pastor.
The Village Seyne-les-Alpes, municipal services have assisted in the organization of this vast rescue plan. “It’s weird , says the manager of the Intermarket the parking lot which broadcast vans French and foreign televisions have settled. When you see it on TV, it is a spectator , there is our home . ” At the time of the accident, Thomas was cutting wood at the bottom of the White Valley. “I thought to myself” it’s like planes flying fighter “and it made a loud noise, deaf, tells the young lumberjack. After a few minutes, j I saw the helicopters, I told my cousin is war or what? “.
Jean-Pierre Roux, farmer Chaudol, a hamlet of La Javie, about ten kilometers as the crow flies from the accident scene, is one of few witnesses. “I left my barn with my worker when he saw the plane just above us. A large airliner but not flying very high, I would say no more than 1000 meters. “ In his head, he said: ” He, he’s not going Dryer “, a peak of 3000 meters. “We saw it disappear behind the hill. We have not heard anything or seen anything or thrown noise or smoke. “ Jean-Pierre Roux learn the accident by his wife. “Then I understood. It was flying at an angle of descent so surprising for a large aircraft in such terrain. “
Vernet, a village a little lower in the valley of the White ” where is the first part walking caravan to the crash site “ Richard Bertrand, Councillor reported seeing smoke in the Mariaud cervical area, four kilometers away. “I thought a plane but a small plane. “ All day, the chosen accompanied 4×4 gendarmes responsible for securing the area about 4.5 km Mariaud cervical track. “Up there, a few hundred meters away , he says , a wall stands on which the unit struck. And below, debris, nothing but debris. The biggest that I could see was to have the size of a car wing any more. The Airbus was sprayed. “
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