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tv   Fault Lines  Al Jazeera  March 24, 2015 8:00am-8:31am EDT

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only on al jazeera america >> an airbus a320 belonging to german wings crashes in southern france. >> hello i'm live from doha. we're continuing with our breaking news, coverage of the crash in southern france. the french transport minister confirmed there are no survivors of that germanwings plane crash flight knife 525 that's the flight number that went down in the provence region. 142 passengers and six crew members were known to be on the plane traveling from barcelona to düsseldorf.
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that was the flight route. debris has been located near the french village of barcelonnette north of nice. let's look at an animation created by a website which tracked the plane's journey, you can see flight 9525 heading off from barcelona and rapidly gains height to 38,000 feet, as it crosses land at marseille that's near the french coast it begins to drop to 6,800 feet, so a rapid descent to 6,800 feet in the french alps. a short while ago the french president francois hollande confirmed the crash. >> it's a tragedy a new aerial tragedy. we will make sure we know all the cause of what happened and we will share that information with all the concerned
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authorities, german and spanish and contact all the families, as well. we're in mourning, because it's a tragedy that happened on our soil. i'll haved world to know if there have been any other consequences of this accident, it's in a a zone difficult to access, i don't know if there are homes affected. solidarity is what we have to focus on. >> let's continue with this breaking news story live from berlin. we continue to get details from the german capitol. bring us up to date with what more you've been hearing there about the crash. most of the information so far has been coming from the french authorities, what more are they saying in germany? >> a couple of things to update you with. germanwings will be holding a press conference in the next few hours and that the german transport minister is going to travel to the crash site to see for himself what has happened to this airline that's come down in
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barcelonnette. so far germanwings and lufthansa have retrained from going into detail about the nationalities of the people onboard and one tweet said they hope to find survivors still. clearly as you said, president hollande and then the french transport minister have confirmed there are no survivors. we can expect a very grim news conference with germanwings when that happens in the next few hours. it's worth making the point that germanwings has an excellent safety record up to this point and the make the airline the airbus 320 has a very robust safety record. it is seen as a work horse for low cost no frills airlines as they're called around the world and they transport tens of thousands, in fact millions of people every year. this is a grim news not only for all those concerned with the
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flight itself, with the airliner but also for the industry and indeed for the aircraft manufacturer. we'll be very keen indeed to establish what has happened to bring down this airliner from what would appear to be a very routine flight, short haul flight from southern spain to western germany. >> many people haven't heard about this low budget subsidiary of lufthansa germanwings. talk us through germanwings itself. what does it do? >> it's a low cost subsidiary of lufthansa. what it does is tends to concentrate on that european union flights intereuropean union flights. it has around 80 airliners and very many of those are airbus craft, a319s and 8320s. it employs around 2,000 people and is seen as being a very good service for lufthansa, which
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allows it to operate in a market that as a larger airliner it wouldn't want to be in perhaps and similar to other things similar airliners have done by bringing in subsidiaries to take on the no frills markets as it were. you can fly from frankfurt and other airports here in germany to destinations right around the european union and of course using airliners such as the a320 because germanwings has 15 or 16 of them, so there will be a deep concern on the part of germanwings that an airliner it places such a relevance upon has had such a tragedy. >> we are hearing from spoken's deputy prime minister that 45 passengers onboard are believed to be spanish. spain's deputy prime minister saying 45 of the passengers on the crashed germanwings plane
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are believed to be spanish. that's giving us now a clearer picture of the makeup of the nationalities onboard dominic. >> you heard francois hollande talk about the effect on spain and germany. it's worth making the point that the destination for this flight, düsseldorf is right in the heart of the economic powerhouse of western germany and so it's likely that very many of the people onboard would have had business interests, business concerns in western germany that took them on that plane on that flight, which should have landed sometime ago but as we know, never reached its destination. we still don't have right this minute, although we now know 45 spaniards were aboard the plane we still don't have a sense of who else was aboard the plane. lufthansa have retrained from
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going into detail about who exactly was onboard the plane but clearly when the jews conference germanwings comes, we will get more detail. >> germanwings is a subsidiary of lufthansa. it has a very good safety record. >> this is the first fatality, first tatal incident, if that is what it is, you but obviously the french government has gone into great detail sajida al-rishawi no survivors. this is the first time germanwings is being affected by a fatal incident like that. as you say lufthansa is one of the largest airlines in the world, operating to
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destinations in all continents. regret is the first importance and clearly from their point of view they want to know what exactly caused this aircraft to come down. any impediment to the airliner will be of great concern to them. they will need the reassurance that the a ircraft they're operating have no such impediment that might cause a similar sort of incident to occur. clearly at the moment, we don't know what has caused this to occur and it is dangerous for us to speculate as to what caused the aircraft to come down, but certainly air crash investigators are on their
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eight. the area is mountainous rugged, hard to get to quickly. everyone would want to rescue those who can be rescued and establish what exactly brought this plane down in the alps. >> we will come back to you later when you get more details which are emerging about this crash. let's go to aviation expert chris yates live in manchester, england. chris, just tell us anything you've been hearing there about the crash and what may have happened to bring this plane down. >> precious little, it has to be said being heard at the moment, apart from the fact that the aircraft is down is inevitably going to be substantial loss of life from the loss of this aircraft.
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now, the priority must be to obtain the two black boxes onboard the aircraft. that's the data recorder, the voice recorder, and to retrieve those for analysis to give us a fair indication, i suppose, as to the precise sequence of events that caused this airplane to fall out of the sky. it's unusual for aircraft, such as this, to literally fall out of the sky. we need to understand the mechanism that caused that, whatever that happens to be, and the body that will be responsible for assessing those recorders, will they be french b.e.a., who are specialists who would normally carry out such an investigation. >> it does point to the fact, though chris it adds a few
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more difficult layers, there are many aviation jurisdictions here a crash that happened in france, from spain it's a german airline, who takes point in the investigation here, chris? >> well, the point will be taken i suppose by the german authorities, because of the fact that it is a german carrier but of course, this aircraft came down on french soil. it is a french manufactured aircraft, and therefore the french b.e.a. would have a certain level of jurisdiction, if not that the german authorities might well creed that part of the investigation to their french counterparts. so there is a strong possibility
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that these devices might end up at the headquarters of the french b.a.a. as they are retrieved for instant analysisar as instant as you can be when carrying out an aircraft investigation such as this. >> chris airbus have just said that they are of course assessing the situation. they clearly want to be careful. the airbus a320 is a reliable air force. >> not just of many european airlines, but many airlines around the world. the last time an a320 was involved in an aviation accident was at christmas time with the air asia, the last of the air
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asia plane lost off indonesia. most people would consider it was caused by weather but of course we still don't know the circumstances that brought that aircraft down out of the sky either. it all dependency on what information can be gleaned from the data recorder and the voice recorder as to the precise sequence of events that caused an aircraft such as this to fall out of the sky. >> you mentioned also that the aircraft was seen on flight radar falling fairly rapidly. that would indicate that the aircraft had suffered some form of catastrophic failure at altitude, but of course, we don't know what that is. >> it's an interesting point you make chris, about this rapid
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descent, this perhaps catastrophic failure that caused a rapid descent from 30,000 feet to close to 7,000 feet, as we're talking to you now we're seeing the radar track of the plane before it disappeared. will the authorities chris be looking at any other cause or possible cause of the crash such as human intervention or equipment failures at this stage? >> of course everything is brought into an investigation all avenues are assessed to determine whether they happen to be the primary cause of an aircraft accident, so eventually, all of that information will be narrowed down into a subset of the most likely causes, and then ultimately, of course, the voice recorder and data recorder will
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provide a final analysis. nothing can be ruled out at this stage, and everything can ultimately be ruled in. >> all right chris yates there aviation expert from the u.k., chris, thank you very much. we'll be talking to you throughout the day. time for a shirt break now. we'll have more details stay with us here on al jazeera.
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>> welcome back to our continuing news coverage of that crash of germanwings flight 9525
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that crashed this morning in the southern french alps. it is confirmed that there are no survivors. it went down in the provence region. 142 patternings and three crew were onboard. spain's deputy foreign minister confirmed this were -- >> what more have officials there been saying. >> we've been getting more details of the rescue operation that's underway. as we've already reported, the french interior minister has gone to the scene of the accident and he's expected to
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seek in the coming hours but we're also hearing that 245 firefighters have been deployed from neighboring districts as have three squadron of police officers, so clearly the french emergency services from the whole region being mobilized and sent to the scene of the crash. >> jacki and president hollande already suggested it was unlikely that there will be any survivors from the crash. that's a pretty grim assessment even at this early stage. >> it is a grim assessment, but it's a logical and realistic one. we have had confirmation from the french transport minister that that is the case. when you bear in mind that the flight, the aircraft was traveling 38,000 feet at the time of the incident, as we're hearing now the kind of official evidence that has emerged, images indicate that the plane started to fall very sharply and when you bear in mind the kind of region that it
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landed in, we're talking about a mountainous region. >> tell us a bit more for those of us who don't know the area in outern france about the area and toptopography. it is a very mountainous region, there are ski resorts nearby, very sparsely populated and very remote areas. in terms of this kind of mobilization, all the emergency services, it's not as though this has happened in a big city where there are fire stations and ambulances and police at hand people have had to be mobilized from the surrounding region. even emergency service to say get to the scene will be very difficult. we're looking at this now it's no longer a question of a rescue
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operation, because the assessment of the french transport minister and in deed other french finishes is that no one can possibly have survived this crash. >> are we getting any clearer idea now jacki of the french involvement here? yes, it crashed object french soil but there are many jurisdictional issues here it crashed in france, it was a german carrier the spanish were also involved, it was flying from barcelona. it's a french manufactured aircraft. what are the problems here in terms of jurisdiction? >> well, in terms of actually dealing with this accident itself, the first line of response emergency services is clearly that the scene of the accident has taken place on french territory, so that obviously gives the french jurisdiction initially in terms both of having to deal with the immediate aftermath of the crash. clearly a search for survivors is not something that will be realistically undertaken but
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trying to retrieve debris and potentially whether there should be victims on the ground. the french president has assured his report and everything will be done to receive families. within the next 40 minutes the company, the airline company the budget airliner germanwings is due to give a news conference in cologne so hopefully we will get more details there. >> the french in terror minister bernard cazenueve is on his way to the site. what will be his role?
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>> the crisis cell is something that brings together very senior ministers and also the directors of the emergency services that we're talking about. we're talking about it is fire service, ambulance service and potentially the military, as well. we all saw this crisis activated two months ago when we would the series of shootings here in paris. that was the last time that we saw the french emergency services, security services mobilized to this kind of extent. so this is really the kind of gathering of top political military security emergency officials to respond to this kind of disaster. >> all right jacky rowland in paris. thank you. lets cross over now you to dominic cain who's been talking to us all morning from berlin. bring us up to date with details you've been hearing there that are emerging about the crash. >> three updates to bring you
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actually. in the first place the german government has set up a crisis response team, which it is sending to the incident. secondly, the german government has set up a telephone hot line for all those wanting more information about their loved ones about the incident, and that sort of thing and the third one is for germanwings the company concerned has changed its on line representation, turned it to black in a gesture appropriate perhaps to the gravity of the situation, so clearly, a sense that something terrible has occurred. looking at a statement from the german foreign minister, referring to this as a catastrophe that has happened gives a sense of what the official view about this incident is in germany.
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there will be a news conference by germanwings in a few minutes. seeing as we know that 45 of the people onboard the crew onboard the plane rather was spanish it seems logical to imagine that very many of the others onboard were perhaps german and or at least have very -- had business interests in germany which were taking them to düsseldorf, which is in the heart of the german economic powerhouse of western germany, which receives business visitors and others every day on airliners such as this one the a320 which is a work horse of very many aviation fleets of airlines around the world certainly that germanwings had 15 or 16a320s and other airbus products, as well. this is an incident that will causes concern for john f. kennedy, for the germ man government and also for the
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manufacturers of the airbus. any impediment to its safety is something that with him impact upon the manufacturer and other airliners around the world hence the significance of the investigation into this incident which is ongoing. >> many of us haven't heard about germanwings. we had heard about the parent company, lufthansa. tell us a bit more about germanwings and their fleets and where they operate and their relationship with lufthansa. >> ok, so it's a subsidiary of lufthansa and operates mostly inside the europe union from regional airport hubs around germany, here in berlin, from germany, düsseldorf, which was the destination of this particular aircraft that has come down. germanwings employs around 2,000
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people and has around 80 aircraft, 15 or 16 of which are the a320 and there are other aircraft inside its fleet, as well. it will be taking perhaps hundreds of thousands of people from short haul destinations around europe every year. it's a low frills airline a low cost low frills, short haul airline, which is a convenience for people traveling from different european hubs to other european hubs. this one, bourse barcelona to düsseldorf. you could imagine -- he. >> let me just jump in there for a second. let's cross over to the spanish prime minister talking about the crash of that germanwings flight. let's listen in to what he has to say. >> i have spoken to the german
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chancellor angela merkel and asked for her opinion and advice about how to liase further. i have spoken to the legal representation and informed of events. i am sorry that everyone else is for this tragic accident and we shall do whatever we can to help the family and we will also give as much help as we can to other people. thank you very much for your help. >> all right so that was the spanish prime minister. he was just saying there that he'd spoken to the german chancellor angela merkel on how best to
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lyase about the crash. if you've just joined al jazeera, let me remind you about the events surrounding this crash. it happened in southern france. we know that the french transport minister confirmed there were no survivors onboard this germanwings plane. germanwings is the low cost subsidiary of lufthansa a german airline and so germanwings was operating this flight from barcelona to the city of düsseldorf. we know that flight 9525 went down in the southern french alps in the provence region. we know that it rapidly lost height from 38,000 feed to
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60,800 feet in a few minutes indicating that the plane had some sort of mechanical problem. we know he there were 142 passengers and crew onboard. stay with us here on al jazeera. we'll have more on that crash with bulletins further in the day. thank you for joining al jazeera. this is techknow a show about innovations that can change lives. the science of fighting a wildfire. we're going to explore the intersection of hardware and humanity but we're doing it in a unique way. this is a show about science by scientists. tonight techknow investigates gold at any cost. we travel deep into the rainforests of peru. these illegal mining oper