Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz Never Submitted Sick Note, Airline Says
Prosecutors said they found a torn up note in his apartment.
— -- The airline whose plane crashed in the French Alps never received the sick note that investigators found torn up in the apartment of the co-pilot who allegedly hid an illness from his employers before allegedly causing the fatal crash, it was revealed today.
Germanwings said in a statement today that they never received a sick note for co-pilot Andreas Lubitz that the senior prosecutor in Dusseldorf announced they had found torn up in his apartment.
Prosecutor Christoph Kumpa had said earlier in the day that "a torn-up current sick note ... valid for the day of the incident" had been found, adding that it "would -- according to preliminary evaluation -- support the assumption that the [pilot] had concealed his illness towards his employer and his occupational environment."
Kumpa said the note found indicated the pilot "was declared by a medical doctor unfit to work."
The disclosure of torn medical documents at the co-pilot's home came shortly before Germanwings' parent company, Lufthansa, announced that it would be changing company policy to require two "authorized persons" remain in the cockpit at all times during the flight, in light of the finding that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz apparently stopped the captain from re-entering the cockpit and forced the plane to crash.
In addition to the findings suggesting Lubitz was hiding an illness, a search of his apartment in Dusseldorf yielded no suicide note and the city's prosecutor announced that there is no evidence that political or religious factors were involved in the crash.
Officials seized medical documents at Lubitz's home that indicated "an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment," Senior State Prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrueck said in the statement, according to the Associated Press.
Torn up prescriptions and notes from doctors "support the current preliminary assessment that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and colleagues," the statement said, according to the AP.
The Wall Street Journal cited a friend of Lubitz who said that he suffered from depression and actively concealed that diagnosis from his employer. ABC News has not independently confirmed this account.
Dusseldorf University Hospital confirmed Lubitz was a patient there and his last visit was two weeks before the crash. They denied that the treatment was related to depression, but they have handed over all of his medical records to German investigators.
During a news conference on Thursday, the Lufthansa CEO said that the 27-year-old co-pilot had undergone a medical examination that included a psychological evaluation before being hired in 2013 but, unlike physicals, mental evaluations are not required annually.
The Germanwings plane crashed this past Tuesday in the Alps in southern France with 150 people on board, including two babies, the airline said. French President Francois Hollande said there were "apparently no survivors."
Brice Robin, public prosecutor of Marseille, France, said in a news conference Thursday that Lubitz appeared to want to "destroy the plane," purposefully locking the captain out of the Airbus A320's cockpit and accelerating the descent manually.
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