The co-pilot of the crashed Germanwings plane appears to have "intentionally" brought the plane down while his captain was locked out of the cockpit, French prosecutors said Thursday.
First Officer Andreas Lubitz, 28, was alone at the controls of the Airbus A320 as it began its rapid descent, Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin told a news conference.
Passengers' cries were heard on the plane's cockpit voice recorder in the moments just before the plane slammed into the French Alps.
"Banging" sounds also were audible, he said, suggesting the captain was trying to force his way back into the cockpit. However, the reinforced cockpit door was locked from the inside and could not be overridden, even with a coded entry panel.
Lubitz, a German national from the town of Montabaur, "didn't say a word" during the descent, according to Brice, who said no distress signal or radio call was made.
The current interpretation, Brice added, is that the co-pilot had "a desire to destroy this plane" though there was nothing to indicate a terrorist connection.