The leader of France, Germany and Spain visit the remote Alpine region where an Airbus plane smashed into a mountain, ahead of an international tribute to the 150 victims. Mana Rabiee reports.
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived together at the this remote Alpine region on Wednesday. The leaders met with teams of investigators near the mountain ravine where a Germanwings airliner crashed on Tuesday en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, killing all 150 people on board, the great majority of them Germans and Spaniards. Spain's Mariano Rajoy joined them in the village of Seyne-les-Alpes, where French investigators have set up headquarters for search operations. The three leaders thanked search teams, and were due to meet families of victims of the still-unexplained crash. A source familiar with recovery efforts says one of the plane's two black boxes that was found hours after the crash is the cockpit voice recorder. The fate of a separate flight data recorder was not immediately clear. A preliminary report may take months, but investigations like this usually take a year or more to run their course. Meanwhile, police and rescue workers prepare to welcome relatives of the victims in the small mountain village of Le Vernet. French, German and Spanish flags have been tied with black ribbons ahead of an international tribute to the victims. But getting their loved ones back home won't happen right away for everyone. French police at the crash site say it will take days to recover the bodies because of the difficult mountain terrain, snow and incoming storms.