The Slatest

Germanwings Captain Shouted “Open the Damn Door!” Before Crash

Policemen hold flags during a ceremony for victims’ relatives on March 29, 2015, in front of a commemorative headstone in Seyne-les-Alpes, the closest accessible site to where the Germanwings flight crashed.

Photo by Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP/Getty Images

The captain of the Germanwings plane that crashed into the Alps screamed at co-pilot Andreas Lubitz to “open the damn door!” according to black box transcripts published by German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. The recordings show how Captain Patrick Sondheimer pleaded with Lubitz to let him inside the cockpit—“For God’s sake, open the door”—before taking an ax to the door, reports the Telegraph. The transcript captures the moment when Sondheimer tells Lubitz to “take over” as he heads to the bathroom. But when the captain knocks on the door to get back inside the cockpit, the plane begins its sharp descent, and that’s when passengers can be heard screaming.

The same German newspaper also reported that Lubitz may have been suffering from a detached retina, although it remains unclear whether his vision problems had physical or psychological causes. The paper claims, according to Reuters, that investigators have found evidence Lubitz was afraid of losing his eyesight.

Another German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, quotes a senior investigator saying Lubitz “was treated by several neurologists and psychiatrists” and numerous medications had been found in his apartment.

Meanwhile, investigators say they have isolated 78 DNA strands from body parts in the remote area of the French Alps where the Germanwings flight crashed. But the investigators have denied media reports that Lubitz’s remains had been identified, reports the BBC. An access road is being built to the remote site in order to allow easier access to the area. It could be completed by Monday evening.

Read more of Slate’s coverage of the Germanwings crash.