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.
Investigators identified the plane's co-pilot as 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz, a German citizen. Officials added that there weren't any signs of terrorism in connection to the plane's crash. Robin also said that he was considering investigating the case as voluntary manslaughter, rather than involuntary manslaughter, The New York Times reports.
All 150 people on board the flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, were killed. Officials from Germanwings and Lufthansa, its parent company, will hold a news conference in Cologne, Germany, at 9:30 a.m. EDT.