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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
German Investigators: Co-Pilot's Ex-Girlfriend Spoke about His Mental Condition; Voice Recording From Germanwings Plane Crash Leaked to German Newspaper; Firefighter Survives Falling Into Burning House. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired March 30, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:16] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Wolf Blitzer. Anderson is off.
Tonight, whether it is by leaks or from official sources, we're getting a flood of new details in the crash Germanwings flight 9525 and the murder of 149 men, women and children. So much new reporting on what the co-pilot first officer Andreas Lubitz may have been carrying around in his head before locking his captain out of the flight deck and flying the plane into the ground.
Reports that he had been treated with anti-psychotic medication, that he was being treated for vision problems, possibly psychosomatic in nature, that investigators believe he was once suicidal, yet he still got a job flying. That he once made chilling remarks to an ex- girlfriend about doing something that everyone would remember him for.
There's all that, plus the horrific details from what appears to be a leaked transcript of the airbus A320's cockpit reporter showing the passengers had to live through eight minutes of sheer terror before the plane hit the mountain. More on all of that coming up tonight.
First, Pamela Brown in Dusseldorf, Germany, with the latest.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A young Andreas Lubitz laughing behind the controls of a glider plane. Now said to have been suicidal before he ever got his commercial pilot's license.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Had been at that time in treatment of a psychotherapist.
BROWN: More recently a source tells CNN, Lubitz went to an eye doctor complaining of vision problems. But the doctor found nothing wrong with his eyes, diagnosing him with a psychosomatic disorder. It was apparently all in his head.
The source says Lubitz also visited a neuropsychologist complaining of being overburdened and stressed at work. But today the German prosecutor said Lubitz didn't tell his doctors he was suicidal and showed no signs of aggression.
Prosecutors say they found torn-up doctors' notes deeming him unfit to work in Lubitz's trash can, including one for the day authorities say he deliberately crashed the plane. What investigators didn't find, a suicide note.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have not found anything that is giving us any hints that enable us to say anything about his modulation.
BROWN: A German aviation source tells CNN Lubitz passed his annual recertification test in the summer. As part of that exam, CNN has learned he would have had to fill out this questionnaire, specifically asking, are you taking any medication? Do you have any psychological, psychiatric or neurological diseases and have you ever attempted suicide? Lufthansa said it was not aware of any medical issues.
BLITZER: And Pamela Brown is joining us now.
Pam, this medical exam he took last year, do we know if that would have picked up if he had any specific vision problems?
BROWN: Only if they were physical problems, Wolf and not necessarily psychosomatic. However, as we know, he had to fill out this questionnaire. One of the questions on there was whether he had any vision problems. So he essentially would have had to self-report that kind of thing.
Now, if he did self-report anything that was alarming or a red flag, the doctor, the aviation doctor would have to then tell Lufthansa. Otherwise it would be up to Lubitz to tell the employer. And as we know, Lufthansa is saying they didn't get any indication he had any issues. And Lufthansa tells us that his co-workers never came to management with any sort of concerns, or complaints about Lubitz despite his mental health history that we're learning about, Wolf.
BLITZER: Pamela Brown, thanks very much.
Some medical perspective now on what appears to be a long list of issues that this pilot had. Joining us for that, our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Sanjay, there are reports, as you know, that the co-pilot received these injections of anti-psychotic drugs in 2010, antidepressants were reportedly found in his apartment in Dusseldorf. What does that tell you?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think in some ways it tells us what we've been thinking for some time now, that this was not depression alone. Depression alone is something that can be treated. A lot of people, as you know, Wolf, suffer from this, they can be treated and have very productive lives. When you start to have psychosis like this, it's a different mental illness. I think when you look at these specific medications, and an injection of this medication, it speaks to the severity of the psychosis as well. It's typically medication injected when someone is acutely agitated from psychosis. Now, these are not tidy terms, we have depression here, you have
psychosis here, sometimes they can overlap. But he also received this medication, my understanding, five years ago. He was in his early 20s at that time. We know, Wolf, young men who are going through developing psychosis and schizophrenia in their lifetimes, that is a prime age at when that develops. So it sort of fits, the psychosis, the severity of it, the need for these injections specifically.
[20:05:25] BLITZER: We don't know, Sanjay, the specific antidepressants he was currently prescribed. But even if he received these injections or antipsychotic drug back in 2010, could that in fact point to what's described as a life-long illness?
GUPTA: Very important question, Wolf. Five years ago, he received a big gun, if you will, antipsychotic medication by injection. Usually that's given if someone -- they have this diagnosis of psychosis. And it is typically a life-long illness. So a big question mark still, Wolf, what happened over the last five years. We know he got that antipsychotic medication in 2010. Was he continuing to be treated, not necessarily by injection, but even by oral medication, oral pills, whatever it may be, did he get treated for his psychosis, or did he hide that as some people often do because he thought he would not shall able to perform his duties or be unable to fly a plane.
BLITZER: Yes, probably he thought it would end his career. As you know also, Sanjay, according to a European official familiar with the investigation, this co-pilot had visited an eye doctor complaining of vision problems, was told his issue was psychosomatic. Walk us through, how does that work?
GUPTA: Well, it is interesting, with psychosomatic, it basically means, that look, he went to a doctor for a very specific problem. The doctor performed all the tests and could not find anything wrong. You start to put the pieces together and say they couldn't find anything wrong. He had a psychosomatic illness, could that sort of fit in with his overall diagnosis of psychosis. Was this part of his delusional state? Was he having hallucinations of some sort, was he imagining things that were not there? That's sort of what that doctor, that medical report was sort of alluding to here. Again, we don't know for sure.
We also know some of the medications he was taking. Some of the side effects those medications can be blurred vision. So, you know, there's a lot of moving pieces here. But when it comes to psychosomatic, it basically means the mind is making up an illness or imagining an illness that does not exist, Wolf.
BLITZER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, as usual, thanks very much.
GUPTA: You got it, Wolf. Thank you.
BLITZER: More perspective now, because what happened to this individual raises all kinds of questions about the system for screening pilots and prospective pilots around the world especially right here at home. Dr. Drew Pinsky is joining us. He is the host of DR. DREW ON CALL on
HLN. Also joining us the FAA's former person in charge of medical certification, Dr. Warren Silberman, and joining us as well the aviation attorney and pilot Justin Green.
Dr. Silberman, one of the struggles with the screening process for pilots is that it's largely an honor system. It's up to the pilots to report problems with their health that might affect their ability to fly. What has the FAA done to try to address this?
DR. WARREN SILBERMAN, FORMER FAA MEDICAL CERTIFICATION DOCTOR: Well, basically what they've done is -- first of all, at every course, when an aviation medical examiner begins their training, they get several hours worth of psychological training in aviation medicine, training in drugs and alcohol, and then they also have to have regular updated training. And there's psychological sight training with that, too.
Wolf, the -- it's basically a (INAUDIBLE) type of thing. There are questions on the exam, and the pilot's got to be truthful about that. And it's just how the doctor feels. There isn't any specific psychological testing.
BLITZER: Yes, they've got to fix that, I'm sure.
Justin, you were saying earlier today that gate keeping, finding an applicant with illnesses like this co-pilot keeping him from getting into the cockpit. That's the most important part of the screening process. Explain what you mean.
JUSTIN GREEN, AVIATION ATTORNEY: Well, I think there's a couple of issues. One is, as we just heard, is that there's a big difference between minor depression, of depression that can be treated, and monitored by the flight surgeon, by the flight examiner, and what apparently this young man had.
This young man, you know, had some very serious issues, some issues that probably would have precluded him from getting a license if it was found out. And from what we've heard so far, this young man was very good at hiding what he had. And we haven't heard what, if anything, the airline knew about why he took that hiatus from training. We don't know what, if anything, they knew, and apparently they're saying they didn't know, what they didn't know about his treatment.
So I think in this case, you know, Regan said, you know, trust and verify. Here, if you have someone coming from the street, this man had no real history, you really can't take him at his word. And I don't think that a flight -- a medical examiner who is only going to be with a young person just a few minutes is going to be able to really pick up on something like this.
BLITZER: They've got to fix this so-called honor system where you trust, but you don't necessarily even verify.
Dr. Drew, for someone who knows they have a psychological condition, and this co-pilot's case those issues seems to have been very serious, even if they might have been temporary, how hard is it to hide all of this from a doctor, if a doctor is even looking for it?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST, DR. DREW ON CALL: It's hard. But in Germany, they have some of the most stringent medical privacy laws in the world. So even if those doctors, we may yet find out they knew about it, but had no legal authority to say anything other than give them that, you are not fit to work little slip. And then the individual has to then give that to their employer. That's the way it works in Germany. Let's remember, Americans are going to fly overseas. We have to watch our safety over there. It's not just our domestic flights we have to be concerned with.
But this is a very serious issue. Sanjay was absolutely right, we need to stop thinking about this as psychological. This was a brain disorder. This was a psychiatric problem in which this guy was psychotic, receiving huge, very serious medications. And indeed, it may have caused the blurry vision, but this condition, had he might be avoiding the medication, he might have started thinking he was doing the right thing in terms of crashing this plane. When in a psychotic state, things are terribly disorganized. And what is usually sane thinking become terribly distorted. And that's how a tragedy like this can occur.
BLITZER: That's a good point.
Dr. Silberman, what can doctors do, if they know their patient is a pilot, for example, what's the doctor supposed to do?
SILBERMAN: OK. Well, obviously if the doctor directly thinks that this -- that the pilot may actually do harm, they can pick up the phone and call the FAA. The FAA also has an FAA hotline, its FAAhotline@faa.gov, or a phone number 1800-255-1111. And when any complaint that a person, even a regular non-physician makes to the hotline is evaluated, and it's normally kept anonymous.
BLITZER: Justin, what about the relatively new regulation that allows some pilots who are being treated for depression to fly. How has that worked out?
GREEN: I think it actually has helped because the one thing you're going to have, you're going to have depressed pilots. Pilots are just like everybody else. They get old, they develop medical conditions, they develop stressors in their lives that might lead to depression and they're going to be depressed. The question you're going to have, are you going to have a system that enables them to come forward, get treatment, be monitored, be safe, or you're going to have a system where they are basically every incentive is to hide. So this opening up, reaching out to pilots, getting them treatment, getting them monitored is very positive in my opinion.
BLITZER: Yes, I agree.
Dr. Drew, the stigma surrounding mental health, that's a huge, huge problem with people in high-risk jobs, but all sorts of businesses as well. How much fear of being ostracized keep people from actually seeking treatment? PINSKY: It's tremendous. And one of my fears in this story is that
it is going to further stigmatize people. And I think the FAA has done a great job of allowing people to have be humans that have conditions that are treatable, give them proper treatment and get them back in to their job.
But there are conditions that are just not OK. And the problem, I think really the problem here is that the medical privacy has trumped the safety of the passengers in this plane, because the doctor in Germany couldn't pick up the phone and make the call that we can make here.
BLITZER: Good point indeed.
All right, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Dr. Silberman, Justin Green, guys, thanks very much.
Just ahead, what new details reveal about the co-pilot's mental health. How troubled was he, and how long had he been in treatment?
Also, the backlash in Indiana over a controversial new law that critics say discriminates against gay people.
[20:18:00] BLITZER: As we said, there are new details tonight about the mental health of the co-pilot who authorities say deliberately crashed flight 9525 into the French Alps. While investigators say the box of evidence they removed from his apartment and from his parents' house have yet to reveal a motive.
Other clues are in fact surfacing. Together they suggest he may have been struggling with psychological issues for years. Here's Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There have long been signs of trouble. As recently as this February, and again this month, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had visited a clinic in Dusseldorf for a diagnostic evaluation. Several years back in 2009, Lubitz reportedly suffered a serious depressive episode, and received psychotherapy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He have at that time been in treatment of a psychotherapist because of what is documented as being suicidal.
KAYE: Around then, Lubitz told another doctor he was burned out, stressed about his job. "Bild" newspaper also reports his flight instructors found him not suitable for flying. He reportedly had to repeat pilot training. So he took a job as a flight attendant. Turns out Lubitz may have had two women in his life. One a flight attendant with whom he had a short fling and the other, his longtime girlfriend. "The New York Times" said he met his girlfriend while working as a cook at Burger King. A European government official knocked down any rumors about Lubitz having personal problems with his girlfriend or that she was pregnant. Why then would Lubitz crash his plane? His ex-girlfriend, the flight
attendant, told media Lubitz talked about doing something that will change the whole system. And after that, all will know his name and remember it.
And there's more. Before the crash, Lubitz was having trouble with his vision. CNN has learned an eye doctor found he wasn't seeing properly, but that it was probably psychosomatic. That doctor told Lubitz he was unfit to work. Something Lubitz never shared with his employer.
Authorities say other doctors also found Lubitz unfit. One doctor's note was found slashed in his garbage. Also according to "The New York Times," investigators discovered antidepressants at his apartment. The airline apparently never knew.
[20:20:28] CARSTEN SPOHR (through translator): He was 100 percent fit to fly without any restrictions. His flight performance was perfect. There was nothing to worry about.
KAYE: Perhaps Lubitz thought his dream of flying was in jeopardy. This is video of him happily flying a glider about a decade ago. How he went from this to the unthinkable, we may never know.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
BLITZER: The German newspaper "Bild" interviewed the flight attendant Randi just mentioned. She said that she dated Lubitz for several months but broke it off because he became erratic.
John Puthenpurackal, the reporter who broke those details joins me by phone.
John, you interviewed a former girlfriend of the co-pilot who wanted to conceal her identity. What was her reaction when she learned he may have intentionally crashed that plane?
JOHN PUTHENPURACKAL, REPORTER, BILD NEWSPAPER (via phone): She said that she was really shocked by the crash. But she said also that she was smart enough to realize that this crash was maybe the meaning behind the quote. He said several times to her, one day I will do something that will change the whole system. And then all will know my name and remember it.
BLITZER: Did she say he was unhappy with his work environment?
PUTHENPURACKAL: Yes. He was really -- I mean, according to Maria, he mentioned it several times. He argued with the job situation. Maybe one argument why he did this is really that according to her, he realized slowly that his dream of becoming a captain of an airplane getting a long-term contract at Lufthansa and being responsible for long distance flight may not come true due to his mental illness, you know. And Maria was really sure in the interview that his hopelessness finally made him cause this tragic aviation disaster. BLITZER: She spoke to you also about him potentially suffering from
PUTHENPURACKAL: Yes, he actually never called it depression, you know. But she came to that decision that he suffered from depression. Actually, she mentioned one sequence out of their relationship in which they talked about his condition. And he admitted that he had to go for medical treatment because of mental illness, but he never called it depression.
BLITZER: But she did say, John, that he suffered from nightmares when he was sleeping, right?
PUTHENPURACKAL: Yes. That's right. Maria told me he woke up and screamed, we are going down. You know, the plane is going down. And she also mentioned another sequence at one night, he locked himself into his bathroom for a while without any explanation. But she never put this all in question, because she said she actually recognized two sides inside this person. You know, when this guy was among people, he was, according to Maria, really open-minded, smart. He could talk with people, and seemed to enjoy life. But if they were on their own, he had like mood swings. And sometimes he tended to be aggressive especially when they were discussing about their job situation.
BLITZER: John Puthenpurackal, thanks very much for your time.
BLITZER: Coming up, what we know about the flight's final moments before the crash, according to a leak of the reported audio from the cockpit voice recorder. We have the disturbing details. That's just ahead.
[20:23:22] BLITZER: We'll have much more coverage tonight of the deliberate crash flight of 9525 including what we know about the flight's final moments. But first, a controversial so-called religious freedom law in Indiana is being criticized as a thinly veiled attempt to discriminate against gay people and is facing serious backlash from a growing number of businesses.
The law signed by the Indiana Governor Mike Pence has sparked protests. It says that the government can't quote 'burden a person's exercise of religion. Critics say businesses could use that to deny, for instance, services to gay people. George Stephanopoulos pressed Governor Pence about that issue on NBC this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, NBC NEWS: Yes or no, if a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana?
GOV. MIKE PENCE, INDIANA: George, this is where this debate has gone, with misinformation and -- STEPHANOPOULOS: It was just a question, sir, yes or no?
PENCE: There's been shameless rhetoric about my state and about this law and about its intention all over the internet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Stephanopoulos repeatedly asked the question, governor pence never answered it directly. But in an op-ed article for "the Wall street journal" tonight, the governor writes that the law is not a license to discriminate.
Miguel Marquez is joining us now live from Indianapolis with the latest.
Miguel, the governor has doubled down on the law, some state Republicans are calling that what is described as a fix to it, some Democrats are demanding a repeal. What's the latest over there?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ye. Well, even in that "Wall Street Journal" article, the governor does not back down from his position of not changing the law. He says he is going to stay where it stands.
That said, the Republicans here have super majority in both the House and the Senate and the legislature, they could easily do it if they want to. The top Republican leaders today came out and says they will make a fix, the question is what will that fix be and when will is come down the road. The NCAA, obviously, is here, headquartered here, and the final four is here this week. There is great interest in seeing that done before those games take place, because the NCAA has expressed concern over that.
The city council here in Indianapolis has just passed a resolution opposing SB-101. The mayor, the Republican mayor of Indianapolis, signed an executive order urging the government to fix this bill. So there is enormous pressure to have this done. Right now, it's not clear when or how that will get done. Wolf.
BLITZER: The passage of the law has already sparked protests, calls for boycotts in Indiana. How much is that playing into all of this?
MARQUEZ: Clearly it is taking a huge effect. Everybody from Apple to the NCAA to many big, you know, Angie's List, and several other big Internet companies, bands are pulling out of performing here, conventions are being affected. Tourism is being affected. The effect is absolute and total. And I think that all of that is playing very, very heavily into the concerns that those who oppose this have. And it's being heard very, very loudly here at the state capital.
BLITZER: As you know, Miguel, Indiana certainly isn't the only state that has passed what's called this religious freedom law. The Arkansas legislature, for example, passed one on Friday.
MARQUEZ: They did. And the governor may sign that one soon. They have an amendment to it that will be voted on possibly tomorrow. So they may vote on a very similar religious act. Many of the states that have these, though, also either have protections specifically for lesbians or gays, or it's not written so broadly, so as that it only applies to the government, basically. It's not entities. A florist, a baker, a photographer, all of those aimed at the gay marriage issues that have come into the public consciousness in recent years. Wolf?
BLITZER: Miguel, thanks very much, reporting for us. And please be sure to stay tuned for a CNN SPECIAL REPORT that's coming up right at the top of the hour, Chris Cuomo anchors it, called "Showdown in Indiana." The battle over religious rights, 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
Let's get the latest on some other important stories we're following. Amara Walker has a 360 news and business bulletin, Amara.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, Wolf. With a looming deadline for an agreement on Iran's nuclear capability, Secretary of State John Kerry says tricky issues remain, but negotiators are working to get something done. The talks in Switzerland have hit road blocks on issues, including U.N. sanctions. And at what pace Iran will be allowed to advance its nuclear technology in the last five years of a 15-year period.
One person is dead and two injured, after two men dressed as women tried to drive a stolen vehicle onto the National Security Agency campus in Ft. Meade, Maryland, this morning. NSA police fired on the vehicle as it sped toward a police car.
The prosecution rested in the Boston marathon bombing trial today with graphic testimony about the death of 8-year-old Martin Richard in the attack. The defense began its case this afternoon.
And just incredible pictures posted to Facebook by a woman in Mexico, who says a group of stray dogs stood watch at her mother's funeral. The woman told ABC News that her mother was an animal lover, who often fed strays in her neighborhood. More than 800 miles away.
And comedian Trevor Noah has been named the new host of the Daily Show on which he's appeared just a few times. Jon Stewart announced in February that he would be leaving after 16 years. Clearly some big shoes he's got to fill. Wolf.
BLITZER: Certainly a tough act to follow. Let's see how he does. Thanks very much, Amara, for that.
When we come back, we'll return to the flight 9525 story and the apparent leaked transcript of the cockpit voice recorder, what it reveals about what the captain said and did, and what the passengers experienced in those horrible final minutes. We'll also talk to a professional profiler about how anyone could do what that first officer did.
[20:38:30] BLITZER: Back now to the crash of flight 9525. An item today that CNN's Richard Quest simply calls unbelievable, namely the leak in the German publication Bild of what was on that cockpit voice recorder. It is an account minute by agonizing minute as passengers learned the captain had been locked out of the flight deck, and soon thereafter that they were all in grave danger. We'll be talking shortly tonight with Richard Quest, along with an expert on how killers think. First, CNN's Tom Foreman sets the terrible scene. Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, according to this account, almost from the moment that this plane started descending, loud banging was heard throughout the cabin, as someone apparently tried to smash through the high-tech door into the cockpit. A very difficult task. This is a door that is sealed with numerous electronic bolts up and down one side, a reinforced hinge, and it's made of three different layers of shock-resistant material. And all this was happening while the clock was ticking.
FOREMAN: 10:27 a.m., the plane is at a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet, and the crew is prepared for the upcoming landing. The captain mentioned earlier that he needed to use the restroom, so his co-pilot Andreas Lubitz tells him, you can go now. The captain's seat is heard pushing back and he tells Lubitz, you can take over. That information coming from a transcript of their conversation published by the German tabloid Bild.
10:29, air traffic control sees the plane mysteriously descending and calls it.
There is no response. The recording reveals an alarm going off in the cockpit warning about the sink rate of the aircraft. Moments later, the captain yells, "for God's sake, open the door!" The first banging is heard. And people are screaming.
10:35. The plane is now down to 23,000 feet. Another alarm goes off. Terrain, pull up. The banging continues. The captain shouts, "open the damn door!"
10:38. The plane is at 13,100 feet, still traveling close to 450 miles an hour, and so low, that just two minutes later, at 10:40, a new noise rips through the cabin. Aviation analysts suspect it is the right wing scraping a mountainside. The screaming surges and the recording ends.
FOREMAN: And through all of that pounding heard on the recording, the door appears to have held firm. It's really no surprise. Since 9/11, these doors have been reinforced to withstand gunfire, small explosions, a small battering ram. Very hard to break through them. And in all likelihood, the captain or whomever was trying to break in, never really came close. Wolf? BLITZER: Tom Foreman, thanks very much. It's, of course, the first
question you ask after seeing that, who on earth could do what this pilot did. What kind of person decides to not only take his own life, but also the lives of so many others? Joining us now, the former FBI criminal profiler, Mary Ellen O'Toole, and CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest.
Mary Ellen, can you try to take us inside this co-pilot's head? What could possibly motivate a person not only to kill himself or herself but everyone else onboard that plane that they are responsible for?
MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: There would not be a single motivation. So don't expect to find one single reason why this individual did this. When you see someone who's willing to suicide, but commit homicide at the same time, that certainly suggests either a lot of anger, or the need for revenge, or retaliation. And this will sound very disturbing, but when someone makes up their mind to do something like this, to suicide and to commit homicide, they can become very, very selfish. Very myopic in their thinking. And the damage that they do to other people around them, like the other passengers on this plane, they view as being collateral damage. They just had to die, because he was so mission oriented to carry out his anger and his revenge.
But it's not something that just snaps. This kind of thinking, we find in other cases that are similar, this thinking preexisted this event by days, months or years.
BLITZER: Yes. Richard, the transcript of the cockpit voice recorder was leaked this weekend. As you know, there were these tragic details about the efforts to break down the door. The passengers screaming. That's something we almost never see, that transcript being leaked before the full investigation report is published. What do you make of that?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't. And there's a good reason for that, Wolf. We've been talking about it. And it's because it doesn't add much other than just, if you like, what the BEA calls voyeurism.
The full transcript will be published. This is not a question of when, or how, or if, it will be published. And it will be published as part of the final investigation. We knew everything that was in it.
But I think what's really significant about this is where the leak came from. There really are only two opportunities here. The first is the BEA, that's the French organization. Now, they are, I think, probably more unlikely to. They're very closely held. The second is the prosecutor's office, somebody who heard it via the prosecutor's office. And you remember, Wolf, it was the original leak to the New York Times which was described as coming from a senior military official, which we now believe to be a senior French military official. So if I was a betting man, I would sort of lean more to the prosecutor side and those who heard it there. But even so, it's not surprising that the pilot's union in France has now sued over these leaks. It shouldn't have happened.
BLITZER: Mary Ellen, there's no evidence yet of what the co-pilot's motivation was, but there is a report, as you know, from his ex- girlfriend that he once said, and I'm quoting now, one day I'll do something that will change the system, and then everyone will know my name. Do you think investigators will find something that indicates why he did this?
O'TOOLE: I think that ultimately they will. It's important to know that in the majority of homicides, the individual does not leave behind a suicide note. So I think that's important. What we've seen in some cases, very infrequently, but the person will leave what they call a manifesto.
So either way, what investigators are doing, they're looking through all of his computers, through his phone, through his iPad, everything to see if there was not necessarily a note or a manifesto, but ongoing writings, or indicators as to what led up to this. So that becomes really important. I think ultimately we will find out.
BLITZER: Let's see, Richard, as we learn more about this co-pilot, his mental health struggles, do you think the airline industry will increase screening efforts to prevent another person with similar troubles from becoming a pilot?
QUEST: Oh, absolutely. Not because of -- not because, Wolf, of what he did. Let's be clear. That in itself is horrific. The reason they will change the rules is because so many failsafes appear to have failed, from the break in training, to the suicidal thoughts, to who knew what. I would be interested to hear, what we need to know, of course, is would any psychological test have picked this up? Would it have actually discovered that they had a man who was intent on doing such terrible deeds? But change will happen, of that I'm certain.
BLITZER: I'm sure it will. Richard Quest, Mary Ellen O'Toole, guys, thanks very much.
Just ahead, work is almost complete now on a road that will give direct access to the crash site of flight 9525, we'll get the latest on the recovery efforts under way right now in the French Alps.
Plus, heart stopping video of a firefighter's close call. Nearly lost his life while trying to save others.
BLITZER: At the crash site of flight 9525, searchers continue their grilling work. It's a challenge to even reach the remote area deep in the French Alps. So far, 78 of the 150 people killed have been identified through DNA. French investigators say they're optimistic they'll be able to identify most of the passengers. But they've also cautioned that remains -- some of the remains may not be found for every victim, that the crash was that violent.
One piece of good news, if you can call it that, a new path to the crash site is nearly complete. It will greatly reduce the time it takes to reach the crash site, allowing all-terrain vehicles to get through. Joining me now, CNN safety analyst, former FAA accident investigator, David Soucie, and Dr. Bill Manion, medical examiner for Burlington County, New Jersey, and chief of pathology at Memorial Hospital.
David, the plane was obliterated. Access to the site has been improved. But how do you go about the process of even piecing together the wreckage?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: It's not simple, Wolf. You have to begin with how you document where everything is. You don't want to bring anything out of there until you know where it is, and where it may have come from. There's trails that will tell you how to do that. So the documentation on site in today's accident investigations is hyper critical, because it's possible that they could actually do a virtual rebuild rather than actually having to do a structural rebuild as they did in flight 800.
BLITZER: They're going to want to learn as much as they possibly can. Dr. Manion, recovering the body of the co-pilot, this has been an extremely difficult process, considering the high impact. He was right in the front of the plane. What do the investigators need to do to be able to conduct, for example, a toxicology test for this co- pilot?
DR. BILL MANION, CHIEF OF PATHOLOGY, MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Well, oftentimes the body may be fragmented. You have to recover as many body parts as you can for testing if it's impossible to do blood or urine testing. They will go to testing of organs, such as liver and brain. And if the eyes can be recovered, vitreous humor can also be tested within the eye fluid.
BLITZER: Will that be able to determine whether the pilot was on any specific type of medication?
MANION: Yes. The drugs are -- often the lipid soluble drugs will be held in the liver and in the brain. And will oftentimes appear in the vitreous. So these organs, if you can't get blood or you can't get urine, then we look for lipid type organs, such as liver, brain, and oftentimes you can get vitreous fluid, the eyes are intact.
BLITZER: Including psychiatric medication, right, doctor?
MANION: Absolutely. That's correct. Most psychiatric medications are lipid soluble, that's correct.
BLITZER: Right, I just want to be precise. David, the second black box, this would have recorded all the flight commands in the cockpit. How crucial is that piece of information in putting this puzzle together? Because they have the cockpit voice recorder. They don't have the flight data recorder. SOUCIE: Well, the thing about the flight data recorder is it will be
used to corroborate the cockpit voice recorder. Because we just have audio, remember. So that is up to interpretation. There are some things, some activities that wouldn't be able to be detected on the cockpit voice recorder, such as the punching of the keypad. You would be able to know whether or not the door had been locked prior to an attempt to do the keypad, or if the pilot wasn't able to successfully use the keypad, we have some more answers that may put this puzzle together.
BLITZER: As you know, Dr. Manion, the impact here was so strong, the plane crashed into the mountain at 400 miles an hour. Is it possible that they won't be able to determine whether a health or medical issue contributed to the crash of this plane?
MANION: You're correct. It's very possible, because there's so much destruction to the body, it may be difficult to say. Did the person have a stroke, did the person have a heart attack, did they have a dissecting aneurysm. The body is so fragmented, it's just very difficult to tell.
BLITZER: Good point indeed. Dr. Manion, thanks very much. David Soucie, thanks to you as well.
SOUCIE: My pleasure.
BLITZER: Just ahead, the full story behind the most incredible, most terrifying video we've seen in a long, long time, a firefighter is swallowed up by flames, and survives. Details next.
BLITZER: Incredible video from Fresno, California. It shows what some firefighters come up against and the lengths that other firefighters go to help strangers and each other. Sara Sidner has the story.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A terrifying moment. A firefighter climbs to the roof of a house to help put out a raging fire inside. Instead, he helplessly plunges into the inferno. The reaction from witnesses says it all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are shocked. The firefighter has just fallen into that hellish pit of fire.
SIDNER: Cell phone video captures the accident from multiple angles. Captain Pete Dern (ph) was attempting to vent the roof. It's a technique often used where a firefighter cuts a hole in the roof to release dangerous gases and smoke to make it safer for colleagues to fight the fire on the ground, or attempt a rescue. But in this case, it was the firefighter who need rescuing when the garage he's on collapses. Captain Dern is caught inside for several minutes before he's pulled out. He's conscious, but more than 65 percent of his body is burned.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The remains of his uniform, his charred uniform burnt. It tells the story just by looking at it, the hell he went through in those three minutes.
SIDNER: Captain Dern, a 25-year veteran of the Fresno fire department is alive, but relying on a respirator to breathe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very traumatic time for the fire service and for the friends of the fire department. We are family. Brothers and sisters. And as you can see here, we rally around each other.
SIDNER: Sara Sidner, CNN, Los Angeles.
BLITZER: We wish him only the best.
That does it for us. The CNN special report, "SHOWDOWN IN INDIANA, THE BATTLE OVER RELIGIOUS RIGHTS," starts right now.