Lufthansa knew of Andreas Lubitz’s depression
Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz suspected of deliberately crashing Germanwings flight 4U 9525 into the Alps had disclosed an earlier bout of depression, Lufthansa has said.
Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings, said last week that Andreas Lubitz had taken a break from flight school training, but refused to say why.
It has now shared emails from 2009 which show Andreas Lubitz told instructors he had suffered from “severe depression”.
Meanwhile, all human remains from the crash have reportedly been recovered.
French authorities told AFP news agency that the remains of all the victims had been removed from the remote ravine where the plane went down, but mountain troops would return to the scene on Wednesday to search for personal belongings.
The search for the second flight recorder will also continue.
A recording from the cockpit of the aircraft suggests Andreas Lubitz, 27, deliberately caused the disaster on March 24, which killed 150 people.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr previously said that the company was not aware of anything that could have driven the co-pilot to crash the Airbus A320.
“He was 100% fit to fly without any restrictions or conditions,” he told reporters.
It has now emerged, as part of the airline’s internal research, that Andreas Lubitz had sent information about his depressive episode to the Lufthansa flight school in Bremen, when he resumed training after an interruption of several months.
Andreas Lubitz subsequently passed all medical tests and eventually secured his license. He started working with Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings in 2013.
German prosecutors said on March 30 that Andreas Lubitz had received treatment for “suicidal tendencies” before completing his training.
However, Lufthansa said his medical records were subject to doctor-patient confidentiality and it had no knowledge of their contents.
The airline has set aside an additional $300 million (€280 million) to cover possible costs arising from the crash.
The money is separate from the $54,250 available to the relatives of each passenger to cover short-term expenses.
Airlines are obliged to compensate relatives for proven damages of up to a limit of about $157,000, regardless of what caused the crash. Higher compensation is possible if an airline is held liable.
None of the victims’ bodies were found intact after the plane’s 430mph impact, but different strands of DNA have been identified.
French President Francois Hollande said on March 31 that all 150 victims would be identified by the end of the week.
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