sumi: life from the dw studios here in berlin, this is your world news. i'm sumi somaskanda. sarah: i'm sarah harman. french investigators believe the copilot of the germanwings flight deliberately crashed the plane, killing himself and 149 others. sumi: getting as close as they can. relatives of the victims of the flight arriving france near the crash site. sarah: plus, civil war and a proxy war in yemen. saudi arabia launches airstrikes against rebels, drawing a warning from iran.
was he a man on a mass murder mission? sumi: french authorities say the copilot of germanwings flight 9525 andreas lubitz, appears to have deliberately crashed the plane, killing all 150 people on board. sarah: his state of mind is still unknown. family members have arrived near the crash site. sumi: we will get the latest from our team of reporters on the ground. first, this report on how we discovered the shocking truth hundred crash. reporter: the startling allegation that the copilot doing really caused the airbus to descend until it crashed into a mountain came from french investigators. a public prosecutor said no other conclusion was possible from the analysis of voice recorder data. as the plane went down, the copilot was alone in the cockpit. >> for us, the most plausible and reasonable interpretation is
that the copilot deliberately locked the cabin door and refused to open it. reporter: lucked out, the pilot tried to return -- locked out, the pilot tried to return to the cockpit in vain. the camera shows the pilot trying to come in. they have a switch that prevents the door from opening. it is a precaution that has been in place since the terrorist attacks of september 11 2001. johnson and germanwings can only speculate -- live concept -- lufthansa and germanwings can only speculate as to why. what is clear is he broke off his training years ago for unknown reasons. >> after he was once again found to be a suitable candidate, he resumed his training. he subsequently passed every
medical test, along with all the flight training, examinations, and checks. he was 100% airworthy without reservation. reporter: butterfly clubwear lubitz -- at a flight club where lubitz trained, they said the andrea's lupus -- andrea's lubitz they -- the andreas lubitz they knew was a quiet man. >> i am speechless. having known on dress -- kownnown andreas, i am speechless that he would have done something like this. reporter: the search has only just begun. sumi: for more, we bring in tim van beveren from berlin. what do you make of what we heard french authorities say that the copilot deliberately
put this plane into a dissent? -- descent? does that sound like a likely scenario from your experience? tim: it is a scenario that could be taken into account, but i think that the evidence supporting such a claim is not sufficient at this point in time. remember, we have a thing which is scattered over a huge area in the mountains -- mountainous terrain. we have not found the second black box yet, which will give us first indications if the airplane was actually really in a fully operational mode or if there was any problem. and all that is now claimed is just based on the interpretation of un-argued -- of a tape. it is not analysis. it is an interpretation by a prosecutor, criminal prosecutor.
so -- and i listened to the conversation and the press conference that was held previously by the french authorities in the original language and i speak french, and i have some questions they are -- questions there which i think only the real accident investigators could answer. for that, they need more time. sumi: you think we need more investigation before we draw concrete conclusions. what they seem to have heard is that the pilot and members of the crew were trying to get in. they did hear some noises as the plane was making its descent. from your experience, if the pilot who is inside the cockpit has locked the door, is it possible to get in? did these people have absolutely no recourse? tim: they had a problem. there are two things to have in mind. this safety guard was introduced after 9/11 to prevent terrorists from taking over the cockpit and flying an airplane somewhere into a city or something like that, like we saw on 9/11.
this door has a locking mechanism, and the pilots can lock the door. the door is locked. there is a safety feature installed, as we learned also from lufthansa that there is a special additional code that can give cabin crew members who know the code access to the cockpit if there is no response from the pilot. they could both be unconscious. another disturbing agency was there that apparently this plane did not have this additional keyboard outside this door, so there was no other means to open the door from outside the cockpit. this is all still unconfirmed information. i wonder if the prosecutor has all of this information and if they have considered that, because i can think of very many scenarios that could lead one pilot to become unconscious and
then who would open the door? nobody there. sumi: that is a security procedure you think needs to be changed. what other lessons can we learn from this, if we can even say that at this early stage? tim: one efficiency is, and we know it from some american airlines and british airways. they have a procedure that whenever somebody is leaving the cockpit, another cabin crew member has to enter the cockpit and stay there until the other pilot comes back just to make sure the redundancy is there. there are always two people in the cockpit if somebody is going to faint or whatever, so that somebody can open the door. see something that should be taken into consideration for the future if is not -- this is something that should be taken into consideration for the future. sumi: lufthansa said this pilot was 100% fit to fly. do you think that they did enough, that lufthansa did enough to make sure that he was psychologically well? tim: usually pilots are checked
prior to their start to fly. they do a certain assessment. part of this assessment is also some psychological tests if they are really capable of getting the responsibility of such an airplane, as in this case more than 150 people on board. so, of course this is checked but there are no safeguards whatsoever if somebody's mental health deteriorates over time. this is something which has apparently been overlooked in the past. of course, pilots go to their medical checks each and every year. once a year, they have to see a doctor who is specially trained in aviation. if somebody showed some remarkable things, of course that could be noticed. but on the other hand, you only can rely on what colleagues can report. honestly -- can report and honestly to the airline. every airline would take
immediate action to prevent a disaster from happening. but this is not in place like it could be. sumi: at the end of the day, there is always a human flying this thing, even though there is so much computerization, so there is not psychological risk. tim van beveren, thank you for the insight. tim: you're welcome. sumi: what might have driven this man to put flight 9525 into a deliberate descent? earlier, we asked a psychologist what may have been going through his mind. >> i think there must have been some really disturbing goingon with this person. i think he might have had some narcissistic injury that somebody embarrassed him somebody hurt him emotionally so hard that he actually got into sort of a rage and what he was
doing now, he was flying a mock -- flying amok. he was not running amok, he was flying amok. i think this was a prepared and well thought out action. he wanted to take revenge and take these people with him. sarah: do you think there could have been any way to prevent this tragedy? >> i think whatever they are doing to prevent such sort of things from happening, they are doing. i mean, there is only so much that you can do, and there will always be people who sort of fly under the radar and even escape very thoroughly -- thorough detection of any kind of psychological, emotional, or mental disturbances. that is probably what happened here. this is the kind of risk we are all having to live with.
sarah: thank you very much for that perspective. as we heard earlier, relatives of the victims have arrived near the disaster area in the french alps. sumi: they are in the small town of laverne. they arrived from those dsseldorf on -- duesseldorf and barcelona on special flights. they are meeting with investigators before they go to see the crash site. sarah: dw's max hoffman is at the command center for the recovery operation in the french alps. how are friends and relatives reacting to the news that the copilot apparently deliberately brought this plane down? max: they are strictly separated from all of the journalist's here. there are hundreds of journalists in the region. that is quite understandable. he made it clear that they did not want to give any interviews
-- they made it clear that they did not want to give any interviews. people are devastated. there are a lot of tears. nevertheless, they are trying to find some comfort by joining the other families here. sumi: what kind of support is being provided to them? max: well, there are about 30 trained psychologist on-site -- psychologists on-site from different countries. there is a language barrier. i talked to a counselor from munich earlier. they say the most important part for them is to listen and to give these people the impression, which is not just an impression, but the fact, that they are important, they are listened to, there really is interest in their story. that is what they are doing. a are sharing. counselors are telling these people it is important to come as close as possible to the crash site and maybe evn take something. that is when people realize what had happened. it is the first step to closure which will take years. sumi: have any of them been to
the crash site yet? max: they came as close as possible. they weren't able to fly over the crash site or even see what remains of the plane, but they came fairly close, about three kilometers as the bird flies. that was probably the most important step, most important part of their trip here. nevertheless, the psychologist say even if they can't really see the plane or what is left of the plane it is important to come as close as possible, and that is what they did. sarah: recovery teams are trying to salvage very important evidence, including the missing black box data recorder. tell us more about those efforts. max: there was a special unit going out to look for that black box. so far, no success. the other important part is finding more human remains. whenever they find anything, they flag it with these little red flags.
then they pick it up later. the helicopters have stopped flying because it is nighttime. when they find something, they bring it back to headquarters which is just behind me. after that, they bring it to paris, then to marseille, where they will try to identify what they have found which will be difficult. they will have to do it mostly with dna probes. sarah: very long and difficult process and very mountainous terrain. thanks for joining us. sumi: we will go from france now back to germany. the morning continues -- the mourning continues in the german town of haltern, where 16 teenagers and two teachers were killed -- two teachers from the town were killed in the crash. sarah: a moment of silence was held at the moment that radio control lost control with germanwings like 9525 -- germanwings flight 9525.
state agencies also observed a moment of silence. our reporter was at the school as students and officials warned -- mourned. reporter: it has been a sad day for haltern am see a town under a collective shock. the people who suffer the most our school children who lost close friends and family. 50 counselors are working with them to give them some comfort. on thursday, the school will open again. but like today, classes are unlikely to take place. sarah: the shock continues to grow in the countries in which most of the passengers came from, spain and germany. sumi: german officials visited today. the chancellor joint commemoration in parliament. reporter: german chancellor angela merkel expressed her shock after the revelation that the germanwings copilot may have crashed the plane on purpose.
chancellor merkel: this information hits me the same way it must hit most people. it goes beyond all imagination. we do not know yet the whole background, and therefore it remains important that there are further inquiries. reporter: -- the government says security services could not have prevented the attack. the interior minister says there was nothing suspicious in the pilot's background. interior minister: as far as his history is concerned, there is nothing to indicate any kind of terrorist background. reporter: earlier, german parliament held a minute's silence as it met for the first time since the crash took place. at that point, the politicians did not know the copilot probably caused the crash himself. >> we mourn with the families of the victims and their friends and we would like to express our deepest sympathy to them.
reporter: the plane crash dominated discussions in parliament. one lawmaker was especially determined to focus on the issue. 16 students and two teachers from his constituency were killed in the germanwings' crash. he returned to berlin after a memorial service in the town of haltern. >> being able to see up close what these people have been going through really forces you to deal with the situation much more intensively. especially since it happened to 16 very young people. reporter: in germany's capital and elsewhere, the search for answers continues. sarah: we, of course, are closely following the search for those answers. be sure to check out our website, dw.de for the latest. we have to turn to some other news. the conflict in yemen is escalating.
saudi warplanes bombed houthi rebel positions on thursday. they have launched a military operation to stop the advance towards the port city of aden. it is said the country's president has been forced to take rent -- refuge there but there is conflicting information on his whereabouts. sumi: the saudi's said they would do whatever it takes to protect the legitimate government of yemen. reporter: thousands of houthi supporters have taken to the streets of capital sanaa. "god is great," this man shouts then "victory to islam." he and others here see saudi arabia as the henchman of the west. these pictures show after the airstrikes. it is believed the houthi's stronghold was hit. >> corpses are still under the rubble.
reporter: several gulf states, as well as egypt, join saudi arabia in carrying out the airstrikes, but the u.s. provided intelligence and logistical support. a are all working in support of yemen's president -- they are all working in support of yemen's president hadi. >> we will do whatever it takes to predict the lives of -- to protect the legitimate government of yemen from falling and facing any dangers from outside militia. reporter: many -- yemeni sources say government troops have retaken the airport in aden. rebels had advanced on the airport after gaining control of sanaa. western governments say iran is supporting the movies -- houthis, but tehran says it will bring -- it will take all necessary measures to bring the crisis in yemen under control.
saudi arabia announced it would mobilize further units. ning more airstrikes or a ground offensive. sumi: this could be a decisive week in the negotiations over iran's nuclear program. sarah: the two sides say they want to achieve a framework deal by the end of march. the deal could mark a dramatic breakthrough in relations between iran and the rest of the world, especially with the u.s. sumi: now our correspondent in washington asks some members of the iranian-american community what they think of the deal, including the most famous iranian exile of all. reporter: here in the heart of washington dc -- washington d.c., the ancient festival of fire, part of celebrations for the persian new year. back in iran, the festival is frowned upon by the authorities as un-islamic, but here three generations have come together to celebrate. ♪
it is a year that may go down in history, but among the people gathered here emotions range from excitement city -- exci tement to -- excitement to deep skepticism. >> there are a lot of people that aren't political that would like to see the change. >> i don't believe what they say. maybe they are not honest. maybe they don't say. maybe they hide something. who knows? reporter: suddenly, of the ip arrives. -- suddenly, a vip arrives, none other than the exile son of the last shah of iran. he says that a deal might let the regime that ousted his father off the hook. >> are most important issue is
there are no human rights in iran and -- our most important issue is there are no human rights in iran and no political freedom. i think iranians -- the cost should not be trampling our rights. that is very important to understandk reporter: it is -- understand. reporter: it is no wonder that there is still bad blood. they did not just oust the shah. relations between iran and the u.s. have been poisonous ever s ince. this man says now is the time to make a fresh start. use policy director at the national iranian-american council -- he is policy director at the national iranian-american council, one of the most vocal proponents of the deal. >> i think if moderates and reformists are empowered, they
can take iran this direction where, in 20 years we are looking at a democratic country that honors its human rights obligations and is a player in the outside world. reporter: it is taking a long view of fostering change in iran and ending a rift that has already lasted so long, but for the youngest iranian-americans it does hold out the prospect of a very different world one in which the two countries they belong to our -- aren't enemies but friends. sarah: business news now. german consumer confidence has reached record levels according to market research group gfk. sumi: a rise in imports pushed down germany's export surplus. the positive consumption climate is good for business. reporter: it is a good time to be a business owner. germans are in a buying mood. very low interest rates and rising wages are sparing
shopping sprees nationwide -- are spurring shopping sprees nationwide. one of the biggest market research institute says that consumer confidence is at an all-time high. "germans haven't been this happy to spend in more than a decade, and they are likely to keep spending more freely." >> consumers feel very optimistic. it is not surprising, given that the conditions for consumers have stayed ideal and very stable. the job market is still improving. wages are still rising. this is all happening when inflation is almost at 0%. reporter: if current conditions prevail, money is likely to keep quickly changing hands this year. germany's shoppers may even push growth up a percentage point or two in 2015. sarah: consumer confidence up in germany, but a tough day on the
markets. we have more from frankfurt. reporter: there was one piece of bad news after another here in frankfurt. gone are the days of record-breaking. the shopping revelations -- shocking revelation about the pilot raised questions about policies. this industry had been profiting from low oil prices, but now the situation in yemen is pushing them up again. the fact that it is an important region for oil production and that saudi arabia is involved raises concerns not only here but also on wall street. the question now is not if the markets are going to lose, but how much and until when? sumi: let's take a quick look at the market numbers. germany's dax down almost 0.2%. euro stoxx 50 also in their -- negative territory. not a lot going on on the dow
jones. sarah: down across the board. switching to sports. australia have reached the cricket world cup final after defeating the champions with competent, all-around play. sumi: they had a formidable tally for a record semifinal. steve smith was a standout performer. india made a bright start that could not match the australian run. australia's win sets up a final against cohosts new zealand. sarah: we want to recap our top story before we go. french investigators say the copilot of germanwings' flight 9525 deliberately descended the plane before it crashed in the alps on tuesday. he has been identified as 28-year-old andres lubitz -- andreas lubitz. sumi: relatives of the victims
of the plane crash have arrived near the site of the disaster. they were taken to the site that is closest to the inaccessible crash site. move concept, the parent company of germanwings -- lufthansa the parent company of germanwings, provided planes and buses. sarah: thanks are tuning in. stay with us.