Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. World
  2. Europe
26 March 2015

No survivors after crash of German A320 flight in French Alps, which was “crashed deliberately“

By New Statesman

Update (26/03/2015):

Reuters is reporting that the co-pilot of Airbus A320 appears to have crashed the plane deliberately. He has been named as Andreas Lubitz by Marseilles prosecutor Brice Robin. It appears that the co-pilot was the only pilot in the cockpit at the time of crash.

The co-pilot of a Germanwings jet that went down in the French Alps, killing 150 people, appears to have crashed the plane deliberately, a Marseille prosecutor said on Thursday.

The German citizen, left in sole control of the Airbus A320 after the captain left the cockpit, refused to re-open the door and pressed a button that sent the jet into its fatal descent, the prosecutor told a news conference carried on live television.


Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.


Content from our partners
How automation can help insurers keep pace with customer demand
How telecoms companies can unlock their growth potential through automation
The pandemic has had a scarring effect on loneliness, but we can do better

An Airbus A320 airliner operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings budget airline crashed in the French Alps en route from Barcelona to Düsseldorf, aviation officials and police have said.

It is understood the plane declared an emergency at 10.47am local time, descending from 380 to 5000 feet, according to sources quoted by AFPFrench prime minister Manuel Valls said that he feared between 142 and 150 passengers and crew have died in a plane crash in southern France.

He told reporters:

We of course don’t know the reasons for the crash. We obviously fear that the 142 to 150 passengers and crew died today, given the conditions of this crash.”

François Hollande, the French president, confirmed that a Germanwings plane had crashed near the town of Digne in the French Alps, and expressed his “solidarity” with the victims. He said: 

There were 148 people on board. The conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, lead us to think there are no survivors … The accident happened in a zone that is particularly hard to access.”

British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, responding to the tragedy, said:

My heart goes out to the family and friends of those people who appear to have lost their lives in this devastating air crash in the Alps… it really must be the most traumatic time for all of them and my thoughts are with them right now.”