Terrible news out of Europe suggests that the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 that crashed in the Alps earlier this week may have done it on purpose. If true, it lends a new level of horror to a story that is already devastating and tragic.
The black box recorder from the flight seems to suggest that the co-pilot took control of the airplane, locked the other pilot out of the cockpit and headed straight into a mountain at more than 400 mph. Apparently there is some indication that passengers screamed in terror the whole way down.
Words cannot adequately express the horror.
Some horrifying facts we have on this plane:
- A group of 16 young exchange students was on board the plane. All are thought dead. They were also traveling with two teachers. They were from Joseph-König-Gymnasium in Haltern am See, Germany. The group had traveled to Barcelona for an exchange program.
- Andreas Lubitz, a 28-year-old German, has been identified as the co-pilot being accused.
- The plane was flying from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany. It crashed on Tuesday in the French Alps.
- It is likely that all 150 passengers and crew aboard the doomed flight were killed.
- Of the 150 passengers, at least 67 were German, another 45 had Spanish names, two were Australian, and at least one was Belgian.
- An American mother and daughter were aboard the flight as well.
- A Spanish mother and her 7-month-old son, Marina Bandrés López-Belio and Julian Pracz-Bandrés, were among the victims. They were returning from a funeral.
There really are no words for a tragedy like this. Every victim deserves their own special memorial. Every victim has family and loved ones who are in horrible pain right now. And no one has an answer. Why would someone do this? Could this really be the work of someone on a mission? Could someone really have watched a young mom and her baby, a group of high school students and so many other vibrant, living people get onto a plane, and then purposely crash it into a mountainside?
We hope people wouldn’t be that cruel. But all signs seem to indicate that our hopes are wrong here. My heart breaks for everyone affected by this senseless tragedy.