French official: Germanwings co-pilot deliberately downed plane

A Germanwings plane has crashed in France, with all on board feared dead
(Image credit: Facebook/Germanwings)

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin announced Thursday that the co-pilot of the Germanwings airliner that crashed in the French Alps initiated the plane's doomed descent in a "deliberate attempt to destroy the aircraft." A senior official had previously announced that the other pilot was locked outside of the cockpit and trying to break down the door when the plane crashed.

"At this moment, in light of investigation, the interpretation we can give at this time is that the co-pilot through voluntary abstention refused to open the door of the cockpit to the commander, and activated the button that commands the loss of altitude," Robin said at a news conference Thursday. He added that the co-pilot was breathing normally until the impact, suggesting he was conscious and deliberately crashed the plane.

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