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Air disaster

Germanwings co-pilot hid illness

Düsseldorf prosecutors found a torn-up doctor's note, signing him off work on the day of the crash.

FUENTES Agencies AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus DÜSSELDORF 27 DE MARZO DE 2015 18:00 h

The co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a Germanwings airliner into the French Alps hid details of an illness, German prosecutors have said

Düsseldorf prosecutors’ issued a press release on the search of his house to explain that “the measures have not led to the discovery of a so-called suicide note or a confession. There are also no indications of a political or religious background to the incident”.

But they admitted the existence of medical documents that indicate “an ongoing illness and suitable medical treatment". Torn-up current medical certificates, including one for the day of the crash, were found”. According to prosecutors, that discovery supports “after preliminary examination, the assumption that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional circles”.


Police remain outside the Duesseldorf apartment building where Lubitz lived / Reuters


The statement gave no details on the medical issues, but Germany’s Bild newspaper reported that Andreas Lubitz had been treated for at least one “serious depressive episode” in the past and had to suspend his flight training because of psychological issues.

Investigations as well as the assessment of the medical treatment documents will take some days. As soon as reliable findings emerge, they promise to inform relatives and the general public.

Meanwhile, Düsseldorf University Clinic has reported that Mr Lubitz had been receiving treatment there, but denied that this was for depression, contrary to some media reports. The clinic stated that it cannot give further details because of rules governing patient confidentiality.

Germanwings published a statement on its webpage, regarding Lubitz’s sick note. “Media reports say that the co-pilot had a sick note for the day of the accident. Germanwings would like to clarify that no medical note was presented to the firm for this day”, they wrote.



Lufthansa, together with other German airlines, has announced the immediate introduction of new rules for the cockpit. There will now be a requirement for there to be two authorised people in the cockpit at all times.


Operators continue sarching / Getty images



French police at the crash site informed that so far they have recovered between 400 and 600 pieces of remains from the 150 people who died in Tuesday’s disaster. Not one intact body has been found.

Colonel Patrick Touron, deputy director of the Institute for Criminal Research at the National Gendarmerie, gave a press conference near the crash zone.

“We have sent out an urgent medical-legal team to start identification and we have a team working on the site to recover the bodies, parts of bodies or biological matter, depending on the circumstances, so we can proceed with the identification of the victims,” Touron said.


A monument to rememeber the victims / Reuters


The air disaster was so devastating that we have not found a single body intact. We have found parts of bodies and biological matter that are currently undergoing post mortem examinations”, the director explained.

DNA samples are also being taken from objects provided by the victims’ families that could help with identification. Jewellery and other personal objects are being collected and photographed to help in the identification process.

Germanwings is setting up an assistance centre in Marseille for relatives and friends of the victims. The centre will open on Saturday.

The airline provided another flight for family members from Barcelona this Friday morning.

Chief Executive Thomas Winkelmann reiterated in a statement that "in these dark hours we must give our full attention to the emotional support of the relatives and friends".




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