UPDATE: Prosecutor says Co-pilot wanted to destroy plane

Mar 26, 2015 6:53 AM by Cheryl Wengren

SEYNE-LES-ALPES, France (AP) - A French prosecutor says the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps this week appeared to want to "destroy the plane." He says the co-pilot was alone at the controls and "intentionally" sent the plane into the doomed descent.

Tuesday's crash in France killed 144 passengers and the crew of six.

Prosecutor Brice Robin says the cockpit voice recorder reveals that the co-pilot did not say a word once the captain left the cockpit. He says pounding could be heard on the cockpit door during the final minutes of the flight as alarms sounded. He said the co-pilot "voluntarily" refused to open the door to let the pilot back in, and his breathing was normal throughout the final minutes of the flight.

He says passengers could be heard screaming just before the crash.

The prosecutor says the co-pilot's responses, initially courteous, had become "curt" when the captain began the mid-flight briefing on the planned landing.

He refused to give details on the pilot's religion or ethnic background. The prosecutor says German authorities are taking charge of the investigation of the co-pilot, whom he identified as Andreas Lubitz.


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