The co-pilot of a Germanwings flight that slammed into an Alpine mountainside “intentionally” sent the plane into its doomed descent, a French prosecutor said on Thursday. Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said the commander left the cockpit, presumably to go to the lavatory, and then was unable to regain access. In the meantime, he said, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz manually and “intentionally” set the plane on the descent that drove it into the mountainside in the southern French Alps. It was the co-pilot’s “intention to destroy this plane,” Robin said.
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, (centre) and Gen. David Galtier (right), hold a press conference in Marseille, southern France, Thursday March 26, 2015. Robin said the co-pilot was alone at the controls of the Germanwings flight that slammed into an Alpine mountainside and "intentionally" sent the plane into the doomed descent, killing 150 people. (AP Photo)
Latest statement from Germanwings officials: We are horrified to discover today that the aircraft that crashed in the south of France appears to have been crashed deliberately – probably by the co-pilot of flight 4U9525. Based on audio taken from the voice recorder, the French authorities have come to the conclusion that after the aircraft had reached cruising altitude, the captain left the cockpit for a short time and was then unable to re-enter. It appears that the co-pilot, who had stayed in the cockpit, prevented the captain from re-entering by fully locking the cockpit door in order to then initiate the fatal descent. All Germanwings and Lufthansa employees are deeply shocked. We could never have imagined that a tragedy like this could occur within our company.Yet even after this terrible event, we have full faith in our pilots. They remain the best in the world; this event is an extremely tragic isolated incident.We share in the sadness, shock and incomprehension of the bereaved families and friends and that of millions of other people.