German police say they may have ‘found something’ in co-pilot’s home to give clues

Andreas Lubitz
Andreas Lubitz

Police have searched the homes of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in two German cities in search of an explanation for why he may have crashed a passenger plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.

German tabloid Bild reported today that Lubitz had a "serious depressive episode" six years ago and that a medical problem was noted in aviation records.

The Federal Aviation Office was not immediately available for comment.

French investigators believe the 27-year-old locked himself inside the cockpit and then intentionally smashed the Germanwings Airbus A320 plane into a mountainside.

Dusseldorf police spokeswoman Susanna Heusgen said "no crucial piece of evidence has been found yet" after the searches in Dusseldorf and Montabaur.

However, Markus Niesczery from Dusseldorf Police contradicted this report, saying: “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.”

Meanwhile, Germanwings and its parent airline Lufthansa are facing questions over what they knew about the mental state of the co-pilot before the disaster.

France's prime minister has called on Lufthansa to provide all information about Lubitz.

Manuel Valls said that Lufthansa should give the maximum of information "so that we can understand why this pilot got to the point of this horrific action".

Speaking on French TV Mr Valls said that nothing would be ruled out until the end of a full investigation.

According to German newspaper Bild, Lubitz was going through a "personal life crisis", while the Der Spiegel newspaper said he had taken a break in training because of "burnout syndrome".

The ‘personal life crises’ is believed to refer to his break-up with his partner. It is not clear if this had any bearing on his mental state.