Lufthansa chiefs at Alps crash site

Published: Wednesday 1st April 2015 by The News Editor

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The heads of Lufthansa and its low-cost airline Germanwings are visiting the site of the crash that killed 150 people, amid mounting questions about the co-pilot and how much his employers knew about his mental health.

Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr and Germanwings head Thomas Winkelmann touched down by helicopter in Seyne-les-Alpes, near the ravine where the A320 jet shattered into thousands of pieces on March 24.

Investigators believe co-pilot Andreas Lubitz intentionally crashed the plane and are trying to determine why.

Lufthansa said yesterday that it knew he had suffered from an episode of “severe depression” before he finished his flight training at the German airline, but that he had passed all his medical checks since.

German prosecutors say Lubitz’s medical records from before he received his pilot’s licence referred to “suicidal tendencies”, but visits to doctors since then showed no record of any suicidal tendencies or aggression against others.

The revelations intensify questions about how much Lufthansa and its insurers will pay in damages for the passengers who died – and about how thoroughly the aviation industry and government regulators screen pilots for psychological problems.

At the crash site today, authorities said they had finished collecting human remains from the site.

Investigators “will continue looking for bodies, but at the crash site there are no longer any visible remains”, said Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Marc Menichini.

Lieutenant Luc Poussel said only “belongings and pieces of metal” remained.

Officials at France’s national criminal laboratory near Paris say it will take a few months for the painstaking identification process to be complete and for the remains to be returned to the families.

Published: Wednesday 1st April 2015 by The News Editor

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