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Mental health problems 'should not bar people from jobs'

Having mental health problems should not bar people from jobs Nick Clegg has said as investigators focus on the medical history of Germanwings crash pilot Andreas Lubitz.

Mental health problems should not bar people from jobs Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Deputy Prime Minister, who has championed mental health issues while in government, said there should be no "blanket rules" preventing people from doing certain jobs.

German prosecutors have said that Lubitz, 27, who deliberately caused the Airbus to crash in the French Alps, had therapy for suicidal tendencies some time before getting his pilot's licence.

I think it's very important that we don't, however understandable in this context, allow what is said about one individual to shape or colour the way in which we regard people who go through episodes of mental health problems.

It's very important that employers in all walks of life are as accepting of people who are recovering from mental health problems just as much as they would be people who recover from physical health problems.

I don't think, as a blanket rule, the fact that someone has had mental health problems should automatically disqualify them from certain jobs. That would be not treating people as individuals, instead treating people in an indiscriminately broad-brush way.

– Nick Clegg


More details of final moments before plane crash revealed

The co-pilot believed to have deliberately crashed a Germanwings flight, killing all 150 people on board, put an oxygen mask on as he watched the plane plummet from the sky, new evidence suggests.

More details have emerged of the final moments of the ill-fated flight, including suggestions that Captain Patrick Sondheimer first tried to break back into the cockpit using an oxygen tank before asking for a crowbar from the back of the plane, as co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is heard breathing normally.

ITV News correspondent Neil Connery reports:

There were also conflicting reports that mobile phone footage has been recovered from the wreckage of the plane, filmed by one of the passengers, recording the panic on board the flight in the minutes before the crash.

While newspapers in France and Germany claim to have seen the video, the Gendarmerie in France told ITV News that they knew of the reports but were not aware of the existence of the video.

Co-pilot told flight school of 'severe depression' in 2009

The co-pilot believed to be behind the Germanwings plane crash which killed 150 people had informed bosses at his flight training school about a period of "severe depression" in 2009, airline bosses have revealed.

Andreas Lubitz took a break from his flight training for several months, reportedly while he battled depression, but was later given a medical 'fit to fly' certificate.

Andreas Lubitz suffered a period of 'severe depression', medical notes have revealed Credit: Reuters

In a statement, airline group Lufthansa - which owns the Germanwings subsidiary - revealed they had handed over training and medical documents to the Düsseldorf Public Prosecutor.

Among the papers were records of e-mails exchanged between Lubitz and the Flight Training Pilot School in 2009, when he submitted medical notes relating to his resuming his training containing details of a "previous episode of severe depression".

Road being built to Germanwings crash site

Construction workers have begun cutting a road to the site of the Germanwings plane crash, hoping to finish by the end of the day.

Using an existing hiking path as a guide, the roadbed is made entirely of stones already in place, similar to the ones that make the debris field so dangerous for recovery teams.

Co-pilot had been treated for suicidal tendencies

Andreas Lubitz had been treated for noticeable suicidal tendencies Credit: PA Wire

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who deliberately crashed a plane in the French Alps, had been treated in the past for suicidal tendencies.

German state prosecutors said today the co-pilot had been in a long period of psychotherapy for "noticeable suicidal tendencies" several years ago.

Several years ago before obtaining his pilot's licence the co-pilot was in a long period of psychotherapeutic treatment with noticeable suicidal tendencies.

– Prosecutors' Office in Dusseldorf

The German prosecutors added that since then he had not shown any signs of suicidal behaviour nor aggressive tendencies in other visits to doctors.

There is still no evidence that the co-pilot in the French Alps plane disaster said anything beforehand about what he was about to do, the state prosecutor said.


Officials quiz girlfriend of Germanwings co-pilot

Rescue workers next to crash debris near Seyne-les-Alpes Credit: Reuters

The "female partner" of Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz has been questioned by investigators.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office in Dusseldorf told told NBC News today that the woman, who has not been named, was questioned as part of a special "commission" that has been set up to investigate the case.

The commission named 'Alpen' (Alps) was established to secure evidence and involves around 100 officers from various departments of police in the German state of North Rhein-Westphalia, the police spokesperson added.

Investigators focus on what 'destablised' Lubitz

Investigators are looking into what could have Credit: PA Wire

European investigators are focusing on what could have "destabilised" Andreas Lubitz causing him to deliberately crash Germanwings Flight 9525.

Returning from a meeting with his German counterparts, judicial police investigator Jean-Pierre Michel said that authorities want to find out "what could have destabilised Andreas Lubitz, or driven him to such an act".

Germanwings chief operating officer Oliver Wagner is meeting some of the relatives of the 150 victims today in the south-eastern French city of Marseille.

He said a total of 325 family members have come to France.

Germanwings captain shouted 'open the damn door!'

People believed to be the family of the Captain Patrick Sondheimer visit the memorial to victims of the Germanwings jet crash Credit: Reuters

The captain of the doomed passenger Germanwings jet shouted to co-pilot Andreas Lubitz to "open the damn door" as he deliberately crashed the aircraft into the French Alps, according to black box transcripts.

In the eight-minute descent, Captain Patrick Sondheimer tried desperately to reopen the door with an axe and shouted "For God's sake, open the door" according to reports.

Lubitz remained silent during the descent but passengers' screams could be heard in the background moments before the fatal crash.

Lubitz locked Mr Sondheimer out of the cockpit after he went to the bathroom and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside killing all 150 people on board.

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