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Co-pilot appears to have crashed Germanwings plane deliberately

The retrieval of one of two cockpit recordings came as French President Francois Hollande, Germany's Angela Merkel and Spain's Mariano Rajoy traveled on Wednesday to the crash site to pay tribute to the 150 victims, mostly Germany and Spanish.

German Andreas Lubitz, 28, left in sole control of the Airbus A320 after the captain left the cockpit, refused to re-open the door and operated a control that sent the plane into its final, fatal descent, the prosecutor told a news conference.

According to Reuters, the French prosecutor said Lubitz was not known as a terrorist and there were no grounds to consider the crash as a terrorist incident. Recordings suggested passengers’ screams began just before the final impact, he said.

Earlier, a German state prosecutor had said that just one of the two pilots of the Germanwings airliner was in the cockpit at the time it went down.

Investigators were still studying voice recordings from one of the “black boxes” on Thursday while the search continued for a second in the ravine where the plane crashed, 100 km (65 miles) from Nice.

The recordings did not make clear why the pilot left the cockpit or why he could not regain entry as the plane steadily descended toward a mountain range in a remote area of the French Alps on Tuesday.

The retrieval of one of two cockpit recordings came as French President Francois Hollande, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy traveled on Wednesday to the crash site to pay tribute to the 150 victims, mostly Germany and Spanish.

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