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Andreas Lubitz hid sick note on day of Alps plane crash

It has also emerged the plane’s captain may have used an axe in an attempt to re-enter the cockpit.

Investigators carry boxes from Lubitz's apartment.
Investigators carry boxes from Lubitz's apartment.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

Updated: 12.07pm

GERMAN POLICE HAVE said that Andreas Lubitz hid a sick note on the day the Airbus A320 crashed into a mountainside during a flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf.

In a news conference today, prosecutors said Lubitz attempted to conceal his mental health issues from his employers.

German Newspaper Bild said Lubitz sought psychiatric help for “a bout of serious depression” in 2009 and was still getting assistance from doctors.

Earlier, authorities indicated they found a “significant clue” at the home of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz.

They added that it was not a suicide note.

Markus Niesczery from Dusseldorf Police told the Daily Mail: “We have found something which will now be taken for tests. We cannot say what it is at the moment but it may be very significant clue to what has happened.

“We hope it may give some explanations.”

He was speaking outside Lubitz’s flat in Montabaur, on the outskirts of Dusseldorf.

German detectives were also pictured carrying evidence from another property in Montabaur, a town 40 miles from Bonn, that the pilot is believed to have shared with his parents.

Police were seen leaving with large blue bags of evidence and a computer. The Telegraph reports that a man, thought to be his housemate, was led out of the building, shielded by police holding up jackets.

Germany France Plane Crash Source: Michael Probst

Axe

Yesterday it emerged that Lubitz (28) likely deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.

French prosecutor Brice Robin told reporters Lubitz appeared to want to “destroy the plane” by using the descent button which would have required conscious, voluntary movements.

The captain locked out of the cockpit of the plane used an axe to try and force his way back in, Bild has reported – citing security sources.

This could not be immediately confirmed, but a spokesman for Germanwings confirmed to AFP that an axe was on board the aircraft.

Such a tool is “part of the safety equipment of an A320,” the spokesman told Bild.

The paper also reported that Lubitz was receiving “regular private medical” treatment.

The CEO of Lufthansa, Germanwings’ parent company, Carsten Spohr said that Lubitz had suspended his pilot training, which began in 2008, “for a certain period,” but did not give more details. He qualified to fly the Airbus A320 in 2013.

Support for families

Germanwings is currently setting up a family assistance centre in Marseille. Staffing has begun and briefings will start tomorrow.

Thomas Winkelmann, spokesman for the Germanwings executive board, said: “Our focus in these darkest hours is to provide psychological assistance to the families and friends of the victims of flight 4U9525.”

The suffering and pain this catastrophe has caused is immeasurable. No words can express it and no amount of consolation is sufficient but we want to be there for visiting family members and friends if our support is desired.

Germanwings and Lufthansa brought families and friends of the victims to Marseille with three special flights from Dusseldorf and Barcelona. They were then brought to Seyne-les-Alpes, near the accident site where they attended a memorial service.

Additional reporting: AFP

Originally published: 7.28am

Background: Police search home of co-pilot who’s believed to have crashed plane

Related: Germanwings: One pilot ‘locked out’ of cockpit before crash

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Órla Ryan

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