Date
25 May 2017
French investigators are trying to find out whether anyone could have prevented a Germanwings co-pilot from flying on the day of the crash. Photo: Bloomberg
French investigators are trying to find out whether anyone could have prevented a Germanwings co-pilot from flying on the day of the crash. Photo: Bloomberg

Germanwings crash probe looks beyond dead co-pilot

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had told doctors he was afraid of going blind, Bloomberg reported, citing French prosecutors.

They are broadening their investigation to find out whether Lubitz could have been prevented from killing himself and 149 other people in a plane crash March 24.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said three magistrates had been assigned to the investigation.

Robin said the magistrates can’t target Lubitz as part of their investigation, because he died in the crash.

Instead, they will explore if other parties should be placed under formal investigation on preliminary manslaughter charges, he said.

Robin said his preliminary probe and a German investigation into the crash of Flight 9525 uncovered several red flags — including Lubitz’s fears of vision loss — that went undetected because of German confidentiality rules until after the co-pilot’s death.

“This investigation will allow us to better understand the balance between medical secrecy and flight safety,” Robin told reporters.

Laws aimed at protecting privacy and doctor-patient privilege allowed Lubitz to conceal his condition from Germanwings, the budget airline of Deutsche Lufthansa, and ignore at least one doctor’s opinion that he shouldn’t have flown the day of the crash.

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