Andreas Lubitz, 28, may have deliberately locked the pilot out of the cockpit and brought the plane down

By Tim Nudd
Updated March 26, 2015 08:20 AM
Credit: Jan-Arwed Richter/picture-alliance/AP

The co-pilot of a Germanwings airplane that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing 150 people, apparently crashed the plane deliberately, a prosecutor claims.

“The intention was to destroy this plane,” Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said during a dramatic press conference on Thursday, according to the Guardian.

Robin identified the co-pilot as Andreas Lubitz, 28, a German citizen.

Lubitz “voluntarily” put the aircraft into a dive and was alive until the moment of impact, Robin said, based on information from the cockpit voice recorder.

It had been reported earlier that the pilot had been locked out of the cockpit before the crash. Robin said the most plausible explanation is that Lubitz intentionally locked out his colleague.

Despite attempts from air-traffic control to contact the plane, Robin said there was “absolute silence inside the cockpit. Nothing, no word during the last 10 minutes.” He added: “I think he refused to open the door and turned the button to get down the plane. It was a voluntary action on the part of the co-pilot.”

Robin said there was no evidence yet that Lubitz was connected to a terrorist group.