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Was Germanwings pilot locked out of cockpit? Voice recordings of doomed Airbus capture last moments of Alps crash flight 4U 9525

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Forensic experts of the French gendarmerie looking for the black box or clues on the site of the March 24 crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 in which all 150 people on board were killed.

Forensic experts of the French gendarmerie looking for the black box or clues on the site of the March 24 crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 in which all 150 people on board were killed.

AFP/Getty Images

Forensic experts of the French gendarmerie disaster victim identification unit (UGIVC) working under a tent near the site of the March 24 crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 in which all 150 people on board were killed.

Forensic experts of the French gendarmerie disaster victim identification unit (UGIVC) working under a tent near the site of the March 24 crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 in which all 150 people on board were killed.

AFP/Getty Images

LA VERNET, FRANCE - MARCH 28:  Relatives stand at a monument to honour the victims of Germanwings flight 4U9525 in front of the mountains near the crash site on March 26, 2015 in Le Vernet, France. France.

LA VERNET, FRANCE - MARCH 28: Relatives stand at a monument to honour the victims of Germanwings flight 4U9525 in front of the mountains near the crash site on March 26, 2015 in Le Vernet, France. France.

LE VERNET, FRANCE - MARCH 28:  Policemen stand in front of a memorial stone for the victims of the Germanwings Airbus flight near to the crash site on March 28, 2015 in Le Vernet, France.

LE VERNET, FRANCE - MARCH 28: Policemen stand in front of a memorial stone for the victims of the Germanwings Airbus flight near to the crash site on March 28, 2015 in Le Vernet, France.

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Officials from the Japanese Consulate in Marseille reflect on March 29 2015 in front of headstone in Seyne-les-Alpes, the closest accessible site to where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed on March 24 in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.

Officials from the Japanese Consulate in Marseille reflect on March 29 2015 in front of headstone in Seyne-les-Alpes, the closest accessible site to where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed on March 24 in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.

AFP/Getty Images

SEYNE, FRANCE - MARCH 29:  Rescue workers and gendarmerie continue their search operation near the site of the Germanwings plane crash on March 29, 2015 in Seyne les Alpes, France.

SEYNE, FRANCE - MARCH 29: Rescue workers and gendarmerie continue their search operation near the site of the Germanwings plane crash on March 29, 2015 in Seyne les Alpes, France.

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A helicopter of the French gendarmerie flies over Seyne-les-Alpes on March 28, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings flight crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard.

A helicopter of the French gendarmerie flies over Seyne-les-Alpes on March 28, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings flight crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard.

AFP/Getty Images

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz

AFP/Getty Images

Search and rescue teams attend to the crash site of the Germanwings Airbus in the French Alps on March 25, 2015 near Seyne, France.

Search and rescue teams attend to the crash site of the Germanwings Airbus in the French Alps on March 25, 2015 near Seyne, France.

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The home of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz

The home of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz

AFP/Getty Images

March 26, 2015 -- The cockpit voice recorder recovered from the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps indicates that the co-pilot intentionally started a descent while the pilot was locked out of the cockpit. Graphic shows layout of the A320 cockpit and entrance door.

March 26, 2015 -- The cockpit voice recorder recovered from the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps indicates that the co-pilot intentionally started a descent while the pilot was locked out of the cockpit. Graphic shows layout of the A320 cockpit and entrance door.

The credit GRAPHIC NEWS mu

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, French President Francois Hollande, right, and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy pay respect to victims in front of the mountain where a Germanwings jetliner crashed Tuesday, in Le Vernet, France, Wednesday, March 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, Pool)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, French President Francois Hollande, right, and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy pay respect to victims in front of the mountain where a Germanwings jetliner crashed Tuesday, in Le Vernet, France, Wednesday, March 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, Pool)

AP

The voice data recorder of the Germanwings jetliner that crashed Tuesday in the French Alps. French investigators cracked open the badly damaged black box of a German jetliner on Wednesday and sealed off the rugged Alpine crash site where 150 people died when their plane on a flight from Barcelona, Spain to Duesseldorf slammed into a mountain. (AP Photo/Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses)

The voice data recorder of the Germanwings jetliner that crashed Tuesday in the French Alps. French investigators cracked open the badly damaged black box of a German jetliner on Wednesday and sealed off the rugged Alpine crash site where 150 people died when their plane on a flight from Barcelona, Spain to Duesseldorf slammed into a mountain. (AP Photo/Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses)

AP

Journalists wait on March 25, 2015 on a air base in Seyne, French Alps a day after a Germanwings Airbus A320 smashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. Search and rescue operations restarted on Wednesday at the site, helicopters took over from an improvised base, heading for the remote area of the Alps where the plane crashed. AFP PHOTO/BORIS HORVATBORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images

Journalists wait on March 25, 2015 on a air base in Seyne, French Alps a day after a Germanwings Airbus A320 smashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. Search and rescue operations restarted on Wednesday at the site, helicopters took over from an improvised base, heading for the remote area of the Alps where the plane crashed. AFP PHOTO/BORIS HORVATBORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

French emergency services workers (back) and members of the French gendarmerie gather in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.

French emergency services workers (back) and members of the French gendarmerie gather in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.

AFP/Getty Images

BARCELONA, SPAIN- MARCH 24:  Relatives of passangers of the Germanwings plane crashed in French Alps arrive at the Terminal 2 of the Barcelona El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 148 people on board has crashed in French Alps.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN- MARCH 24: Relatives of passangers of the Germanwings plane crashed in French Alps arrive at the Terminal 2 of the Barcelona El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 148 people on board has crashed in French Alps. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

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A poster reading "Yesterday we were many, today we are alone" can be seen in front of a memorial of flowers and candles near the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school in Haltern am See, western Germany on March 25, 2015, from where some of the Germanwings plane crash victims came. AFP PHOTO / SASCHA SCHUERMANNSASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images

A poster reading "Yesterday we were many, today we are alone" can be seen in front of a memorial of flowers and candles near the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school in Haltern am See, western Germany on March 25, 2015, from where some of the Germanwings plane crash victims came. AFP PHOTO / SASCHA SCHUERMANNSASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

A helicopter of civil security services is seen in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.

A helicopter of civil security services is seen in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.

AFP/Getty Images

The March 7, 2014 photo shows an Airbus A320 of German airline Germanwings as it lands at the airport in Hamburg, northern Germany. A Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf Tuesday, March 24, 2015.  (AP Photo/dpa, Jan-Arwed Richter)

The March 7, 2014 photo shows an Airbus A320 of German airline Germanwings as it lands at the airport in Hamburg, northern Germany. A Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf Tuesday, March 24, 2015. (AP Photo/dpa, Jan-Arwed Richter)

AP

Members of the French gendarmerie gather in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.

Members of the French gendarmerie gather in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.

AFP/Getty Images

The arrivals board shows flight 4U 9525 without a status at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after a Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The arrivals board shows flight 4U 9525 without a status at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after a Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

AP

A man who appears to have waited for the missing flight 4U 9525 reacts at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after a Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

A man who appears to have waited for the missing flight 4U 9525 reacts at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after a Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

AP

French president Francois Hollande addresses medias at the Elysee presidential palace after a meeting with Spanish royal couple, on March 24, 2015 at in Paris. Spanish King Felipe VI cut short his first state visit to France after 150 people died in a Germanwings airliner crash in the French Alps after earlier taking off from Barcelona.  AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAUsMARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

French president Francois Hollande addresses medias at the Elysee presidential palace after a meeting with Spanish royal couple, on March 24, 2015 at in Paris. Spanish King Felipe VI cut short his first state visit to France after 150 people died in a Germanwings airliner crash in the French Alps after earlier taking off from Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAUsMARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

The logo of German airline Lufthansa (top) and its Germanwings subsidiary can be seen near a counter on March 24, 2015 at the airport in Duesseldorf, western Germany, where the crashed Germanwings airplane was due to land.

The logo of German airline Lufthansa (top) and its Germanwings subsidiary can be seen near a counter on March 24, 2015 at the airport in Duesseldorf, western Germany, where the crashed Germanwings airplane was due to land.

AFP/Getty Images

A man who appears to have waited for the missing flight 4U 9525 covers his face at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after a Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

A man who appears to have waited for the missing flight 4U 9525 covers his face at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after a Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

AP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a press conference follwing a Germanwings plane crash on March 24, 2015 in Berlin. An Airbus A320 belonging to Germanwings, low-cost airline owned by German flag carrier Lufthansa, en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf disappeared from the radar screens.  AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZTOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a press conference follwing a Germanwings plane crash on March 24, 2015 in Berlin. An Airbus A320 belonging to Germanwings, low-cost airline owned by German flag carrier Lufthansa, en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf disappeared from the radar screens. AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZTOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Carsten Spohr, CEO of German airline Lufthansa

Carsten Spohr, CEO of German airline Lufthansa

AFP/Getty Images

An Airbus 320 aircraft of Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary Germanwings

An Airbus 320 aircraft of Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary Germanwings

AFP/Getty Images

An Airbus 320 aircraft of Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary Germanwings

An Airbus 320 aircraft of Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary Germanwings

AP

Spanish King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia listen to French president as he addresses medias at the Elysee presidential palace after a meeting, on March 24, 2015 at in Paris.

Spanish King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia listen to French president as he addresses medias at the Elysee presidential palace after a meeting, on March 24, 2015 at in Paris.

AFP/Getty Images

Helicopters of the French Air Force (back) and civil security services are seen in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.

Helicopters of the French Air Force (back) and civil security services are seen in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.

AFP/Getty Images

Forensic experts of the French gendarmerie looking for the black box or clues on the site of the March 24 crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 in which all 150 people on board were killed.

An official, reportedly working on the extracted cockpit voice recordings from one of the black boxes of the Airbus plane that smashed into the Alps, has told the New York Times that one of the pilots left the cockpit and was unable to return before the plane went down.

Citing evidence from a cockpit voice recorder, the unnamed investigator told the newspaper: "The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer".

"And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer," he continues.

"You can hear he is trying to smash the door down," the investigator added.

The official does not speculate as to why the other pilot didn't open the door or make contact with ground control before the plane crashed on Tuesday.

The report says there was no indication from the audio as to the reason why the pilot left the cockpit. The paper claims the official was speaking on condition of anonymity as the investigation was ongoing.

 The New York Times' report is yet to be independently verified.

The report comes after officials said earlier that they had managed to extract pilots’ voices from the mangled “black box” of the doomed Germanwings Airbus.

They have so far officially been at a loss to explain why the aircraft flew into the mountain in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.

It was reported today that among those killed on the flight were three Britons. Other victims included 72 Germans, 35 Spaniards and people from 12 other nationalities.

Reports from the scene stated that the first bodies were being removed last night in a recovery effort hampered by difficult terrain and bad weather.

The reported development came after French President Francois Hollande, Germany's Angela Merkel and Spain's Mariano Rajoy travelled to the crash site in a remote French Alpine region to pay tribute to the 150 victims.

President Hollande promised that authorities would not rest until the causes of the crash were known, France's BEA air incident investigation bureau said it was still far too early to draw meaningful conclusions on why the plane, operated by the Germanwings budget arm of Lufthansa, went down.

"We have just been able to extract a useable audio data file," BEA director Remi Jouty told a news conference at the agency's headquarters outside Paris.

"We have not yet been able to study and to establish an exact timing for all the sounds and words heard on this file."

Jouty expected the first basic analysis in "a matter of days" but warned this read-out could be subject to errors and that more work would be needed for a full interpretation.

Remi Jouty, the director of the French BEA, takes questions from the media Remi Jouty, the director of the French BEA, takes questions from the media

Although he said "words" had been heard on the tape, Jouty would not confirm whether that meant the Airbus A320's pilots were conscious and he gave no details of the recordings.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve earlier said a terror attack was not the main hypothesis. Jouty said, however, that no theory could be excluded yet.

While stressing it was too early to form a clear picture, he ruled out a mid-air explosion and said the crash scenario did not appear to be linked to depressurisation.

In what seemed an accelerated push to extract as much early information as possible from the cockpit tapes, BEA officials worked late into the evening at their offices.

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