'Stunned': Reactions to Germanwings Pilot News

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Incredulity, shock, disbelief and horror.

Around the world, from leaders to pilots to victims' relatives to ordinary people, the news that prosecutors believe a 27-year-old co-pilot deliberately sent Germanwings Flight 9525 straight into a French mountain produced a range of emotions.

French prosecutor Brice Robin said Andreas Lubitz was alone at the plane's controls and "intentionally" flew the Airbus A320 into the mountain Tuesday on its way from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, killing all 150 people on board.

Image: TOPSHOTS-FRANCE-GERMANY-SPAIN-AVIATION-CRASH
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy pay their respect to the victims in Seyne-les-Alpes on March 25.CHRISTOPHE ENA / AFP - Getty Images

Here are some reactions:

  • "Today, news has reached us that gives this tragedy a new, simply incomprehensible dimension ... this news affects me exactly the same way as it probably does most people. Something like this goes beyond anything we can imagine." — German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

  • "One person can't have the right to end the lives of hundreds of people and families." — Spanish factory worker Esteban Rodriguez, who lost two work friends in the crash and spoke of his "feeling of impotence, of rage" at the news.

  • Lufthansa has "no knowledge on what have might have motivated the co-pilot to take this terrible action." — Carsten Spohr, the chief executive of Lufthansa which owns Germanwings.

  • "I gave this information to my colleagues immediately, and they were just as stunned as I was. I told them it is much, much worse than we had thought. It doesn't make the number of dead any worse, but if it had been a technical defect then measures could have been taken so that it would never happen again." — Ulrich Wessel, principal of Joseph Koenig High School in Haltern, Germany, which lost 16 students and two teachers in the crash.

  • "Shocked by the latest details provided by investigators." — Tweet from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose nation had dozens of Germanwings crash victims.

  • "I was feeling bad, because I personally knew her and her mother. But now the most recent news, which I read while eating, if it turns out to be true, is of no help to the families." — Manu Navas, tennis teacher for one victim, 12-year-old Emma Solera Pardo, at Sant Cugat del Valles, a town near Barcelona.

  • "Right now, I don't think there's anyone who isn't worried. We are not immune, none of us, to this kind of thing. Flying is a safe form of transport, but you can't stop crazy. If someone decides to act in a crazy manner, there's nothing anyone can do about it." — Steve Serdachny, 45, who had flown in to Helsinki's airport from Toronto and was headed for Moscow.

  • "We are trying to understand what happened. The family wants clear answers." — Eran Betzalel, the brother-in-law of Eyal Baum, the lone Israeli victim of the crash.

— The Associated Press

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