Early image of the wreckage in the Alps in southern France. Emily Selke and her mother from Virginia were among the passengers on Germanwings 9525. Photos: abcnews.com, Washington Post
Updated March 26, 2015 8:35 a.m. ET
In Marseilles, France today, public prosecutor and lead investigator Brice Robin said the captain pilot was intentionally locked out of the cockpit. Robin also said there was absolute silence as the plane went down. Robing said there was “a deliberate attempt to destroy the aircraft” and the co-pilot of Flight 9525 accelerated the decent. Robin’s statements confirmed a New York Times report that the pilot was locked out of the cockpit as the plane descended and crashed. Robin said the co-pilot was the only one left in the cockpit and locked out the pilot. Banging, knocking sounds and the co-pilot’s constant, normal breathing were heard on the tape from the damaged cockpit voice recorder. Screams also were heard in the last moments of impact, Robin said. The co-pilot only had 600 hours of flight hours compared 1500 hours required in the United States. French prosecutor Robin identified the co-pilot as Andreas Lubitz, 28 years old, a German national during the news conference this morning on CNN. Robin said there is nothing to suggest the plane crash was a terrorist attack nor did Robin he call it a suicide. The investigation continues.
A Germanwings jetliner crashed into the French Alps Tuesday morning, March 24th. The Airbus operated by Lufthansa went down Tuesday in the Alps in southern France with 150 people on board, the airline confirmed. Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed near the town of Digne as it flew from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany.
“For now, we’re saying it is an accident,” said a Lufthansa company official Tuesday morning.
Some 45 minutes into the flight, the Germanwings plane lost altitude at 38,000 feet, took 8 minutes to descend and crashed at 6,000 feet. There was no distress call from the cockpit and no response to calls from air traffic controllers during the plane’s descent.
“Apparently there are no survivors,” said French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday.
Most of the passengers were German, Spanish and Turkish. Sixteen of the passengers were German students. Two were babies. Three Americans are among the passengers killed. Yvonne and Emily Selke, a Virginia mother and daughter, were on board the flight.
Family and friends of the passengers are gathered in Barcelona and Dusseldorf and expected to come to the crash site.
The search and recovery operation continues in the remote area of the Alps in southern France.
Sources: abcnews.com, USA Today, The Guardian, NBC News, CBS News, CNN