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Reports: Captain 'tried to open cockpit with an axe'

As police in Germany are reported to have made a "significant" discovery at the home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, reports have emerged that the captain of the plane tried to use an axe to get back into the cockpit.

A rescue helicopter seen over the crash site in the Alps. Credit: Reuters

German tabloid Bild cited security sources saying that the captain Patrick Sonderheimer, took an axe to break down the armoured door of the cockpit.

The report has not been confirmed, but a spokesman for Germanwings confirmed to AFP that an axe was on board the plane as part of the standard safety equipment.

Yesterday the French prosecutor said the audio evidence from the black box appeared to suggest that the captain was deliberately locked out of the cockpit by the co-pilot, who then deliberately took the plane into a descent, killing 149 people along with himself. The captain can be heard knocking on the door, investigators said, and the knocking got louder and louder before he could be heard trying to break down the door.


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Elderly man airlifted after falling into pub cellar

Paramedics treat an elderly man who fell into a pub cellar yesterday Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

An elderly man has been airlifted to hospital after falling into a pub cellar in Burntwood.

It happened at 11.15am yesterday in the High Street in Chasetown.

Paramedics treat an elderly man who fell into a pub cellar yesterday Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

An ambulance and an air ambulance arrived at the scene to find that the man in his eighties was still conscious after having fallen two metres into the cellar.

Paramedics treated him for a head injury before airlifting him to the Royal Stoke University Hospital for further assessment and treatment.

He was airlifted to hospital Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

Yemeni leader flees to Saudi Arabia as airstrikes continue

Yemen's President Adb-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has fled to Saudi Arabia as Houthi rebels continued their battle with his forces on the outskirts of the southern port city of Aden where he was staying.

A car on fire in Aden, Yemen, as airstrikes continue. Credit: Reuters

Residents endured a second night of airstrikes from Saudi Arabia and Arab allies, who struck a number of Shi'ite Houthis and allied army units.

It is unclear whether Hadi will be able to return to Aden, as Houthis and allied troops fought gun battles with militiamen loyal to Hadi.

Pro-Hadi fighters have retaken the airport from Houthi forces, the latest reports said, but it remains closed.


Alps teams comb through debris remains of downed plane

French recovery teams are seen combing terrain and digging into the mountain for clues and remains, in the first ground video released from the crash site.

There are only sparse remains of the actual aircraft, but the deadly impact of the crash is visible from several scorched trees and countless pieces of scattered debris.

Report: Lubitz 'spent over a year in psychiatric treatment'

Andreas Lubitz, the German co-pilot who appears to have deliberately crashed a plane carrying 149 other people into the French Alps recieved treatment for a "serious depressive episode" six years ago, German tabloid Bild reports.

Andreas Lubitz. Credit: Facebook.

The paper, citing internal documents and Lufthansa sources, said he spent a year and a half in psychiatric treatment after the episodes.

They said the documents would be passed to the relevant authorities.

Yesterday Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said Lubitz had taken a lengthy break from his training six years ago, but did not say why. They said he had passed all his medical tests and his flying abilities were "flawless".

A Lufthansa spokesman said the airline would not comment on the state of the health of the pilot.

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