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 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.
The information was pulled from the black box cockpit voice recorder, but Robin said the co-pilot did not say a word after the commanding pilot left the cockpit.
“It was absolute silence in the cockpit,” he said.
During the final minutes of the flight’s descent, pounding could be heard on the door as alarms sounded, he said.
In the German town of Montabaur, acquaintances said Lubitz was in his late twenties and showed no signs of depression when they saw him last fall as he renewed his glider pilot’s license.
The Germanwings Airbus 320 plane crashed Tuesday morning in Southern France around 11:20 a.m. local time while traveling from Barcelona to D?sseldorf in the French Alps, according to the New York Times. 150 people were on board (144 passengers and 6 crew).
Germanwings confirmed Wednesday that an Israeli citizen was among the 150 people killed in the crash.