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No grounds to link Germanwings Airbus crash to terrorism — Marseille prosecutor

March 26, 2015, 16:25 UTC+3 PARIS
Andreas Lubitz, a co-pilot at Flight 9525 who intentionally started the descent while another pilot was locked out of the cockpit, was not on the list of wanted terrorists, the prosecutor says
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© EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO

PARIS, March 26. /TASS/. France’s Prosecutor’s Office has no grounds to believe that the Germanwings Airbus crash was a terrorist attack, a Marseille prosecutor leading the investigation said on Thursday.

Andreas Lubitz, 28, a co-pilot at Flight 9525, was not on the list of wanted terrorists.

Lubitz intentionally started the descent while another pilot was locked out of the cockpit, the prosecutor said.

Earlier on Thursday, the French newspaper Le Monde reported that the co-pilot was alone in the cockpit at the moment of the crash. This information confirmed The New York Times report that one of the pilots exited the cockpit before the accident.

Media reports said that information received from the black box confirms that there was only one pilot in the cockpit at the moment of the crash. The second pilot exited the cockpit for several minutes, but could not get back in. "The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer," The New York Times wrote citing an investigator. "And then he hits the door stronger, and no answer. There is never an answer. You can hear he is trying to smash the door down," he added.

France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analyses refused to comment on the situation in response to TASS’ request.

"At the end of the day, we know little about the pilots, apart from the fact that one of them was an experienced pilot, and another one was at the beginning of his career," French expert on aviation security Jean Serra said. "If one of the pilots was really blocked outside and could not get into the cockpit, it can mean only one thing - the door was blocked from the inside [of the cockpit]," he added.

A Germanwings Airbus-320 en route from Barcelona to Duuseldorf crashed on March 24 in mountainous terrain in the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, southern France. All 150 people onboard, including 144 passengers and six crew, died in the crash.

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