The Germanwings crash last week was a national tragedy for Germany and Spain, the countries who had the most number of citizens among the 150 passengers aboard the low-cost carrier airplane flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. As authorities launched an investigation, what was initially thought to be a horrific accident turned out to be the deliberate act of a co-pilot who managed to conceal mental health conditions from his job. Amid the ongoing probe into Andreas Lubitz, his hometown pastor expressed support for him and his family despite the investigation pinning blame on the 27-year-old co-pilot.
Speaking to the Associated Press on Sunday, Pastor Michael Dietrich of the Lutheran church in Lubitz's hometown of Montabaur, said that Lubitz and his family belong to their community, and that the town will embrace them as its residents struggle to deal with the Lubitz's role in the crash.
For us, it makes it particularly difficult that the only victim from Montabaur is suspected to have caused this tragedy, this crash — although this has not been finally confirmed, but a lot is indicating that — and we have to face this. The co-pilot, the family belong to our community, and we stand by this, and we embrace them and will not hide this, and want to support the family in particular.
Police have yet to question Lubitz's family, who is surely facing a deeply upsetting time, allowing them space to mourn for his death as well as those of the 149 people he is believed to have caused. As more details emerge about Lubitz and his life, authorities are attempting to piece together the puzzle of a man who took so many lives, including his own, in a grotesque act of what some are calling a suicide and mass murder.
Rumors abound: There have been reports that Lubitz's girlfriend is pregnant and that the couple, who allegedly lived in a Dusseldorf apartment together, had plans to marry. The German tabloid Bild reported that the woman, a teacher at a school in North Rhine-Westphalia, had told her students that she was with child, and that Lubitz had recently purchased two cars for themselves.
According to Bild, the woman was on her way to the crash site last week when she found out that Lubitz had deliberately slammed the plane into the French Alps. The unconfirmed news came a day after the same tabloid reported that an ex-girlfriend of the young pilot claimed Lubitz made comments that other media agencies alluded to predicting the crash.
Among the other reports by Bild on the crash, the paper ran a timeline of the summary of an audio recording of the plane's black box — that CNN translated but stressed that it could not be independently verified — in which the other pilot, Capt. Patrick Sondenheimer, is heard screaming at Lubitz, "For God's sake, open the door!"
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