France’s public prosecutor says the co-pilot of the crashed Germanwings plane deliberately downed the aircraft, but was not wanted as a terrorist.
MARIGNANE, FRANCE (MARCH 26, 2015) (BFMTV) – The co-pilot of the Germanwings airliner that crashed in the French Alps killing all 150 people aboard appears to have brought the A320 Airbus down deliberately, the Marseille prosecutor said on Thursday (March 26).
German Andreas Lubitz, 28, left in sole control of the Airbus A320 after the captain left the cockpit, refused to re-open the door and operated a control that sent the plane into its final, fatal descent, the prosecutor Brice Robin told a news conference.
“Alone at the controls of this Airbus A320, the co-pilot manipulates the buttons of the flight monitoring system, to effect the descent of the aircraft. The act of selecting the altitude can only be deliberate,” he said.
“The most plausible, realistic interpretation as far as we are concerned is that the co-pilot — through voluntary abstention, through voluntary abstention — refused to open the door of the cabin to the captain,” he added.
Robin said Lubitz was not known as a terrorist and there were no grounds to consider the crash as a terrorist incident.
He also said passengers’ screams could be heard on the recordings just before the final impact.
“I think that the victims only realised at the last minute, at the very last minute, because in the audio file the shouts are only heard in the last moments before impact,” the prosecutor said.
Robin said the identification process for the bodies of the 150 victims of the crash had begun.