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Passengers screamed for over 5mins before Germanwings plane crashed into mountain

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Five minutes before the Germanwings plane crashed into the French Alps, the passengers were already screaming.

Their cries were recorded by the plane's cockpit voice recorder.

All 150 people on board the plane, which was flying from the Spanish city of Barcelona to the German city of Dusseldorf, died in the incident on Tuesday (March 24).

The recording suggests that the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately locked pilot Patrick Sondheimer out of the cockpit and crashed the plane.

German newspaper Bild published a transcript of the final minutes of the flight. The Independent published a translation of the report.

10.27am: Plane reaches a cruising altitude of 38,000 ft 

10.29am: Plane starts descending

10.32am: Air traffic control contacts plane but doesn't get a response

Between 10.32am and 10.35am: Banging sounds – this is presumed to be the pilot trying to gain access to the cockpit  and passengers screaming

10.35am: A loud bang – this is presumed to be the pilot trying yet again to get back in

10.36am: Warning sound goes off

10.37am: Pilot shouts 'open the damn door'

10.40am: Passengers scream as plane’s right wing scrapes mountain top

BBC News reported that the pilot had told Lubitz he had not been able to go to the toilet before take off.

Lubitz, 27, told him he could go "at any time".

Mr Sondheimer then said: "You can take over."

The recording suggests that Lubitz locked the cockpit after the pilot left and changed the auto-pilot from 38,000ft to 100ft​, reported The Independent.

Mr Sondheimer can be heard banging and begging to be let in. 

At one point, he even tried to break the door down with an axe, reported BBC News.

Sources: BBC News, The Independent

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Plane carrying 148 people crashes in French Alps; no survivors expected