French Prosecutor Brice Robin of Marseille announced Thursday that a Germanwings pilot might have intentionally crashed a plane carrying 150 people over the French Alps after locking his co-pilot out of the cabin. The pilot, Andreas Lubitz, was breathing normally and did not speak as the plane descended, Robin said.
“He had no reason to disable contact with other planes,” said Robin, who is overseeing the criminal investigation. “We could hear the cries minutes before the plane crashed. ... The intention was to destroy this plane."
The pilot in the Germanwings Flight 9525 crash on Tuesday was reportedly banging on the cockpit door after he was locked out by Lubitz. The Germanwings flight was traveling from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, when it started to rapidly descend before crashing in the French Alps. All 150 people on board, including 144 passengers and six crew, died in the crash.
Robin said Wednesday that the identification of the bodies in the Germanwings disaster would take several weeks. Below are some things to know about Robin as the plane crash investigation continues.
1. He was part of an investigation in 2013 that saw police arrest 21 people in raids on the horsemeat industry across southern France on suspicion that horses were being used to develop medicines sold fraudulently for food.
2. He also worked on the shooting of Monegasque Helene Pastor-Pallanca in 2014. The death of the Monaco heiress in Nice made headlines after police found "suspicious" financial transactions on bank accounts belonging to her son-in-law, Robin said. Pastor was a member of one of Monaco's richest families.
3. He served as the prosecutor of a match-fixing scandal involving several players from the French championship handball club Montpellier.
4. He visited the plane crash site and was stunned by the damage, noting "the body of the plane is in a state of destruction. There is not one intact piece of wing or fuselage."