Andreas Lubitz -- the Germanwings co-pilot who investigators believe intentionally crashed the Airbus a320, killing all 149 people on board Tuesday -- had doctor's notes which should have grounded him on that fateful day.
The investigation into why the 28-year-old man crashed the airplane into the French Alps, after locking the pilot out of the cockpit, continues. German authorities have recovered torn-up doctor's notes, revealing Lubitz was suffering from an illness that should have grounded him on the day of the Germanwings crash, Reuters reported on Friday.
Lufthansa has said they are shocked that one of their employees has committed what is being called the worse mass murder crime in Europe since World War II. Lubitz passed all psychological tests with flying colors, according to the company's CEO.
"Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors," said the prosecutors handling the case. Reports that Lubitz suffered from severe depression and hid it from his employer have been reported in the German media.
According to Fox News, Germanwings never saw the doctor's sick notes. Furthermore, Lubitz is not believed to be a part of a larger conspiracy of a political or religious nature. Lufthansa is offering about $55,000 in immediate compensation to the families of the 149 passengers killed in the crash.
Despite the fact that the Germanwings Airbus a320 crashed after a controlled descent that lasted about eight minutes, the airplane slammed into the mountainside at about 500 miles per hour, pulverizing the plane and all its occupants including Lubitz. Patrick Touron, deputy head of the criminal research division of France's Gendarmerie, told reporters at the site, not one body has been found intact and DNA will have to be used to identify the remains.
Germanwings and its parent company, Lufthansa, is bracing for potential lawsuits from devastated families, if it is proven that the airline was negligent in allowing Lubitz to fly. In Germany, it is the law that employees inform employers immediately if they aren't able to work for medical reasons.
According to a report on AOL, Andreas Lubitz visited a Dusseldorf hospital often in the past few months and as recently as March 10, seeking medical treatment. No more information was released to the media due to patient confidentiality, however, the hospital says that reports in the media about the Germanwings co-pilot's supposed depression diagnosis are incorrect.
One of Andreas Lubitz's friends, who spoke to Reuters anonymously, said he had known the Germanwings co-pilot for about six-years and the man had become more and more withdrawn in the past year. "Flying was his life," the source said of Lubitz. This could explain the reluctance to turn over the doctor's sick notes, which would have surely grounded him on Tuesday.
[Photo by Getty Images]