Aug 14, 2018 | Updated: 01:42 PM EDT

German Co-Pilot Intentionally Crashed Germanwings Plane in the Alps

Mar 26, 2015 06:36 PM EDT

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Reports of the Germanwings plane crashing in the Alps have been top stories on most news agencies' lists for several days. New developments in the story have surfaced indicating that the crash was intentional.

ABC News reports that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of the Airbus intentionally crashed the plane into the mountains. Marseille's public prosecutor, Brice Robin, stated that, "The intention was to destroy the plane," adding that "death was instantaneous."

According to reports, the 28 year old co-pilot took control of the airplane and the descent was engaged manually. Robin held a press conference, and speaking mostly in his native French, he said that the recordings from the cockpit indicated that the pilot asked the young co-pilot to assume control of the plane. There were sounds indicating a chair was moved and the cockpit door closing.

It was at this point that Lubitz began his accelerated descent that led to the death of everyone on the giant aircraft.

Germanwings took public offense to the prosecutor's findings at first, but later admitted that all indications were that the plane was intentionally crashed. The initial reaction of Germanwings was captured in a Tweet that said, "We are shocked by the statements from French authorities that the co-pilot deliberately crashed the aircraft."

At a press conference later, Germanwings parent company's CEO, Carsten Spohr of Lufthansa, said, "We have to accept that the plane was crashed on purpose." He went on to say, "It seems to be true that the co-pilot denied the pilot access to the cockpit."

The co-pilot had logged more than 600 hours of flight time and had passed numerous evaluations to ensure he was properly conditioned to fly.

NBC News quoted Angela Merkel, Germany's prime minister, as saying that this development adds a "new, simply incomprehensible dimension" to this horrible story. She added that "something like this goes beyond anything we can imagine."

Brice Robbin told reporters that the cries of passengers could be heard on the cockpit recording in the final moments of the ill fated flight. The young co-pilot accelerated the plane into the ground, as crew members banged on the cockpit door begging to be let in.

This brings to light a previously unasked question for aircraft manufacturers. Should there be a failsafe mechanism that would allow other crew members to enter the cockpit in the event of someone locking the door? Perhaps an electronic lock that could be disengaged from the ground might be one way to circumvent another tragedy like this one.

This story has touched the hearts of the entire world, and as new developments in the story arrive, we will keep you posted.


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