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ALPS PLANE CRASH

PLANE CRASH

Co-pilot Lubitz lied to doctors about sick leave

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who is believed to have intentionally crashed a plane carrying 149 other people into the French Alps, lied to doctors about being on sick leave from work while he was still flying planes.

Co-pilot Lubitz lied to doctors about sick leave
Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. Photo: DPA

German tabloid newspaper Bild reported on Thursday that sources from the ongoing investigation said the 27-year-old asked for treatment for an eye condition, but concealed that fact that he was still going to work, according to Reuters.

Bild also noted that investigators' documents showed Lubitz had reported being injured by an airbag opening in a car crash at the end of last year, complaining of trauma and vision problems afterwards.

Investigators continue to search for an answer as to why the young pilot would deliberately bring down a plane, leading to the death of 150 people including himself.

Bild previously reported that Lubitz's ex-girlfriend had said he once told her "One day I'm going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember."

The plane's black-box voice recorder indicates that Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside, French officials say, in what appears to have been a case of suicide and mass killing.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that all the signs were "pointing towards an act that we can't describe: criminal, crazy, suicidal".

German prosecutors revealed that searches of Lubitz's homes netted "medical documents that suggest an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment", including "torn-up and current sick leave notes, among them one covering the day of the crash".

Bild has also reported that Lubitz sought psychiatric help for "a bout of serious depression" in 2009 and was still getting assistance from doctors, quoting documents from Germany's air transport regulator.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr has said that Lubitz had suspended his pilot training, which began in 2008, "for a certain period", before restarting and qualifying for the Airbus A320 in 2013.

Half of the 150 victims of last week's disaster were German, with Spain accounting for at least 50 and the remainder composed of more than a dozen other nationalities.

Some have called for loosening rules on doctor-patient confidentiality for those whose jobs involve others' safety, butGermany's Council of Psychotherapists said on Tuesday that there was no reason why the country should do so in the wake of the crash.

Recovery operations at the remote crash site are still ongoing, with French officials continuing to comb the mountain for body parts and evidence.

The plane's second black box, which records flight data, has not yet been recovered.

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PLANE CRASH

Father and twin daughters die in light plane crash in France

A father and his twin teenage daughters died on Monday when their light aircraft crashed in central France in as yet unexplained circumstances, the rescue services said.

Father and twin daughters die in light plane crash in France
Mountain range in France's Puy-de-Dome department. Photo: Alpha du centaure/Flickr

“The accident occurred at 12:30 pm (1030 GMT). The plane crashed and broke up without catching fire,” the rescue services said, confirming a report in the local La Montagne newspaper.

The circumstances of the accident, which involved a single-engine two-seater aircraft, were not yet clear.

“The weather conditions were actually quite good at the time of the accident,” the rescue services said.

The crash occurred in a mountainous area in the Mazoires commune of the Puy-de-Dome department.

The father, who was said to be aged “about 40” and his 14-year-old twin daughters were from the Paris region.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash.

There has already been a number of accidents involving light aircraft in France this summer, including one in the Ardennes on July 28 in which the pilot and one of three passengers were killed.

Two people were also killed on July 17 when their aircraft crashed in Corsica and two others will killed in accident in Les Mureaux, northwest of Paris.  

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