A video taken via cell phone was apparently recovered at the crash site of the crashed Germanwings plane in the French Alps, showing the final moments on board Flight 9525.
UPDATE on Monday: More details about co-pilot Andreas Lubitz have been released, with reports saying he was seeing as many as five different doctors before the plane crash.
UPDATE on Thursday – There’s been serious doubts about the existence of the alleged video seen by two reporters (Bild and Paris Match). According to the New York Times, “There has been no precise explanation from Paris Match and Bild, the European publications that exclusively reported the video’s existence, on how they were able to see it, how they can vouch for its provenance and why they do not have physical proof.”
UPDATE as of Wednesday – Lt. Col. Jean-Marc Menichini, a French Gendarmerie spokesperson, told CNN that the Bild and Paris Match reports of the video are “completely wrong” and “unwarranted.” He said cell phones have been collected but have not “been exploited yet.”
According to media reports, journalists with German and French outlets saw the video. A French magazine wrote that the video “was so chaotic that it was hard to identify people, but the sounds of the screaming passengers made it perfectly clear that they were aware of what was about to happen to them.”
“One can hear cries of ‘My God’ in several languages. Metallic banging can also be heard more than three times, perhaps of the pilot trying to open the cockpit door with a heavy object. Towards the end, after a heavy shake, stronger than the others, the screaming intensifies. Then nothing,” Paris Match reports.
The video has not yet been posted online.
Germany’s Bild publication also said that “even though the scene on board is chaotic and completely shaky, and no individual person can be identified, the accuracy of the video is beyond question.”
The publication adds that the captain of the plane says to the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz–who is accused of crashing the plane–that “I didn’t have time to use the bathroom before taking off.” Lubitz replies: “Go whenever you’d like.”
Later, the captain says: “You are in control now.” Lubitz replies: “I hope so.”
About two minutes later, the pilot discovers Lubitz has locked the cockpit door before he overrides the automatic pilot and accelerates the descent. The captain then says, “For the love of God, open this door!”
The captain then attempts to break into the door with a fire extinguisher and later, a crowbar. “Open this damn door!” he also yells. All the while, Lubitz doesn’t say a word.
The whole incident lasted about 10 minutes before the plane slammed into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board.
Meanwhile, Lufthansa knew six years ago that the co-pilot of the passenger plane that crashed in the French Alps last week had suffered from a “serious depressive episode,” the German airline said Tuesday.
The airline said that as part of its internal research it found emails that Andreas Lubitz sent to the Lufthansa flight school in Bremen when he resumed his training there in 2009 after an interruption of several months.
In them, he informed the school, where he had started studying in 2008, that he had suffered a “serious depressive episode,” which had since subsided.
The airline said Lubitz subsequently passed all medical checks and that it has provided the documents to prosecutors. It declined to make any further comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.