Analysis of a tablet device belonging to Germanwings Flight 9525 co-pilot shows he researched suicide methods on the Internet in the days leading up to the crash, a German prosecutor said Thursday (2nd April).
Dusseldorf prosecutor Christoph Kumpa said that on one day, 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz also “searched for several minutes with search terms relating to cockpit doors and their security measures“. Police analysis of the correspondence and search history on the device, retrieved from his Dusseldorf apartment, demonstrated that the co-pilot used it from 16th – 23rd March, Kumpa said.
The search history was not deleted and also revealed searches concerning medical treatment, the prosecutor said.
Andreas Lubitz is suspected of deliberately bringing down Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps on 24th March, killing all 150 on board. Investigators have since focused on his health as they try to establish his motivation.
Prosecutor Brice Robin noted that the co-pilot made voluntary actions – such as guiding the plane toward the mountain and reducing its speed to prevent alarms from going off – and was “alive and conscious” to the very end.
At a press conference on 26th March, Robin, citing evidence from a cockpit voice recorder recovered from the Airbus A320, outlined the last moments of the doomed plane in a chilling account of the actions of the co-pilot. Robin said Lubitz could be heard breathing right up until the point of impact, suggesting he had not lost consciousness. However, he failed to respond to increasingly desperate calls from the commander trying to break down the cockpit door, or to air traffic controllers.
Passengers could be heard screaming just before the crash, Robin said.
A European official government official with detailed knowledge of the investigation said that Andreas Lubitz’s actions amount to”premeditated murder“.
While cautioning that there are still many holes in understanding his motivation, the disclosures about his Internet searches show that he planned to do what he was going to do, according to this official.
Meanwhile, as authorities try to figure out what was on Andreas Lubitz’s electronic devices, they got another big break about what was happening inside Airbus 320 that went down – its flight data recorder.
Now, investigators have both “black boxes,” as the devices are called, and the details that they might provide.
A female police officer digging by hand for clothes in a ravine that had been searched previously found the flight data recorder about 8 inches (20 centimeters) below the surface.
Source: CNN / Featured image from The Times UK.