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British investigator to join Alps plane crash operation

An air crash investigator from Britain is being sent to France to work on the Germanwings recovery operation.

A Number 10 spokeswoman said:"The AAIB are sending someone to join the French-led investigation, given that there are victims from the UK in the crash."

Audio suggests pilot crashed Alps plane 'on purpose'

One of the Germanwings' plane black boxes Credit: ITV News

Investigators say the audio evidence salvaged from the wreckage of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps appears to suggest that the co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane.

Father of two Martyn Matthews from Wolverhampton died in the crash Credit: Family handout

50-year-old Martyn Matthews from Wolverhampton was amongst the one hundred and fifty people who died in the crash on Tuesday.

Prosecutors believe the German co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, caused the crash deliberately after the captain left the cockpit, and then wasn't let back in. Prosecutors added there were no grounds to consider it was a terrorist incident.

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Death 'was instantaneous' in Germanwings crash

Screams could only be heard "in the last moment and death was instantaneous" before the Germanwings flight crashed into the Alps at more than 430mph, the Marseille prosecutor said.

The Airbus is a big plane so the passengers are next to the cockpit. We only hear screams at the very end, it's in the last moment and death was instantaneous, it hit the mountain at 700kpm per hour.

– Brice Robin
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'No grounds' to consider crash as terrorist incident

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said the German co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appeared to deliberately drive the plane into the ground, but said there were no grounds to consider it was a terrorist incident.

There is no reason to suspect a terrorist attack.

– Brice Robin

Asked whether he believed the crash that killed 150 people was the result of suicide, he said:

People who commit suicide usually do so alone....I don't call it a suicide.

– Brice Robin

He also said it did not appear that the passengers realised what was happening until the last moment.

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Germanwings co-pilot named as Andreas Lubitz

The co-pilot who appeared to want to deliberately destroy the Alps crash Germanwings plane was called Andreas Lubitz, French authorities said.

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of the flight that crashed killing all on board. Credit: Facebook.

The prosecutor said Lubitz was 28 years old. He joined Germanwings in September 2013, directly after training, and had flown 630 hours.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said the co-pilot was alone at the controls and "intentionally" sent the plane into a doomed descent, after refusing to open the door to the captain.

Live updates: German co-pilot 'appears to have crashed plane deliberately'

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Investigators: Only one pilot was in cockpit during crash

German prosecutors have confirmed that only of the two Germanwings pilots was in the cockpit of the aircraft at the time of the crash.

They said they do not know which of the two pilots was out of the cockpit, and have not named any of the crew members on board.

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Airbus pilot 'heard trying to smash cockpit door open'

Debris from the Airbus A320 Credit: Reuters

One of the pilots on the German Airbus plane that crashed in the French Alps, killing everyone onboard, left the cockpit and was unable to return before the plane went down, the New York Times reported, citing evidence from a cockpit voice recorder.

"The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer," an unnamed investigator told the Times. "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," the investigator added.

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First bodies of Airbus crash victims are recovered

Recovery teams have started bringing down the remains of the dead from the French mountainside where the Germanwings flight crashed.

The cockpit voice recorder has been found and today the leaders of Germany, Spain and France visited where the rescue operation is based.

Juliet Bremner reports.

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Investigators reveal first findings in Alps plane tragedy

French investigators have revealed the initial findings of what they say could be a long investigation into the causes of the Alps air disaster.

They said they do not currently believe the crash was caused by a mid-air explosion, nor a sudden loss of cabin pressure.

Alok Jha reports on what the team have managed to decipher so far from the black box - and what vital clues they are still missing.

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