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Germanwings Plane Crash: Lutheran Pastor and Community Stand by Co-Pilot’s Family

( [email protected] ) Mar 31, 2015 07:47 PM EDT
The pastor of a Lutheran church has said that he and the community stand by the co-pilot and his family, despite the fact that prosecutors accuse the aviator of crashing Germanwings Flight 9525 on a mountain in the French Alps.
27-year-old Andreas Lubitz. Reuters

The pastor of a Lutheran church has said that he and the community stand by the co-pilot and his family, despite the fact that prosecutors accuse the aviator of crashing Germanwings Flight 9525 on a mountain in the French Alps.

According to Heather Saul of The Independent, pastor Michael Dietrich said that he personally knew 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz and his mother, who both lived in a German town called Montabaur. Although he has not contacted Lubitz's family since the plane crash, he believed that they are being supported by the community.

"I know her and her family," Dietrich said of Lubitz and his mother, who was an organist. "This does not make sense. It is incomprehensible to me, for us, for everyone who knew her and her family."

Saul reported that according to prosecutors, Lubitz intentionally locked the cockpit and took down the Germanwings plane, an Airbus A320, killing all 150 passengers and crew on board. The pastor commented on those facts.

"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," Dietrich said.

Dietrich added that the community will "embrace them and will not hide this" fact.

"From what I've heard, there were no obvious signs that there is anything in the background that could lead to this," Dietrich said.

According to Saul, French prosecutor Brice Robin indicated that investigators have not questioned Lubitz's family yet "out of decency and respect for their pain." However, he denied reports to the Associated Press that Lubitz's body had been found, noting that none of the recovered bodies have been identified yet.

"Tests on the body of the co-pilot may provide clues on any medical treatment he was receiving," AP wrote. "Germany prosecutors said Friday that Lubitz was hiding an illness and sick notes for the day of the crash from his employer."

According to the Associated Press, the town of Montabaur may still be rattled by the fact that Lubitz may have been behind the fatal crash. He first learned to fly at a glider club near that town.

Dietrich held a church service on Sunday to commemorate the crash victims and support their families, according to the Associated Press.

"The co-pilot, the family belong to our community, and we stand by this," Dietrich said.

Tags : Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, Andreas Lubitz suicide, Andreas Lubitz, Andreas Lubitz depression, Michael Dietrich, Lutheran pastor Michael Dietrich, Montabaur, Germany, France, French Alps, Lutheran Christianity, Germanwings plane crash, Germanwings, Germanwings Flight 9525, Flight 9525, Airbus A320