A French prosecutor has denied the existence of a cell phone video that captures the final moments before Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed last week. However, an editor with a French paper that claims to have seen the footage said it was the most disturbing things he’s seen.
German newspaper Bild and French publication Paris Match said its journalists had seen the video. “The scenes seen on the video were chaotic and very wobbly,” Reuters said of Bild’s claims. “Screams and shouts of ‘My God’ could be heard, indicating the passengers knew what was happening,” the report added.
“One can hear cries of ‘My God’ in several languages,” Paris Match said in its own report. “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.”
But Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, who is in charge of the investigation into the crash, denied there was a video.
He told CNN that “so far no videos were used in the crash investigation,” and he noted: “A person who has such a video needs to immediately give it to the investigators.”
However, the co-editor of Paris Match, Regis Lessommier, said the video is one of the most disturbing things he’s ever seen, reported ABC News.
Lessommier told ABC he watched the video in Marseille, which is close to the crash site.
He claims someone involved in the recovery operation showed the footage to him. He didn’t say who the person is.
Lufthansa knew that the co-pilot of the passenger plane that crashed in the French Alps last week had suffered from an episode of “severe depression” before he finished his flight training with the German airline.
The airline said Tuesday that it has found emails that Andreas Lubitz sent to the Lufthansa flight school in 2009 when he resumed his training in Bremen after an interruption of several months.
In them, he informed the school that he had suffered a “previous episode of severe depression,” 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.
French authorities say voice recordings indicate Lubitz, 27, locked the other pilot out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed the Airbus A320 in the French Alps on March 24. All 150 people aboard Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf died.
The disclosure that Lubitz had told the airline he had suffered from depression before he was hired in September, 2013 at Lufthansa’s budget arm Germanwings is another blow to the company’s reputation. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr had said that Lubitz passed all tests and had been pronounced fit to fly.
The revelation adds to questions about how much Lufthansa and its insurers will pay in damages for the passengers who died.
It also underlines questions about how thoroughly the aviation industry and government regulators screen pilots for psychological problems.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.