Germanwings crash co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had contacted dozens of doctors before disaster

Prosecutors would not disclose what symptoms he was concerned about

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The Independent Online

The co-pilot who crashed a Germanwings passenger jet into the Alps had contacted dozens of doctors before he downed the plane, a prosecutor has said.

Brice Robin, who is leading the French criminal investigation into the disaster on 24 March, would not say what symptoms Andreas Lubitz was assessed for.

The prosecutor, based in Marseille, said he will discuss the investigation with relatives of the 150 people killed in Paris next week and address efforts to reduce delays in handing over remains.

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Rescue workers and gendarmerie continue their search operation near the site of the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps

A medical report leaked earlier this year revealed that Lubitz was seeing an “astonishing” number of doctors before he downed Germanwings Flight 9525.

The 27-year-old co-pilot was consulting at least five clinicians, Der Spiegel reported, including psychiatric specialists and a neurologist.

“For a young man he consulted an astonishing number of doctors,” an investigator told the magazine, which has seen a report on Lubitz’s treatment.

Five separate practices had handed their information over and more were expected to come forward at the time.

Lubitz had been signed off work for unspecified medical reasons on the fortnight leading up to the disaster, but officials previously said ripped up letters found at his home suggested he hid his illness from employers.

Although investigators have not confirmed what the notes said, his struggle with severe depression has been dated back to 2009, when he took a break of several months in his flight training.

Lubitz was treated for “suicidal tendencies” before he qualified, German officials in Dusseldorf confirmed, but more recent doctors’ visits had not uncovered a desire to kill himself or anyone else.

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Floral tributes outside Cologne cathedral before a memorial service

Other evidence has suggested that Lubitz may have been seeking treatment for eyesight problems that he feared could put his flying career at risk.

Under the username “Skydevil”, he searched for information on “bipolarity”, “manic depression”, “migraines”, “impaired vision” and “acoustic trauma” in the weeks leading up to his apparent murder-suicide, Bild am Sonntag reported.

Evidence from the crashed plane’s black boxes suggests that Lubitz locked the cockpit door when the pilot left for a toilet break and used controls to override the entry code, downing the plane as the pilot desperately tried to break back in with a crow bar.

He sped up the aircraft’s descent as it hurtled towards the earth, investigators said, obliterating it on the slopes of the French Alps at 430mph as passengers screamed.

Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, said Lubitz informed his training school of a period of severe depression in 2009 but subsequently passed all medical and "fit to fly" tests, which have since come under scrutiny.

The investigation continues.

Additional reporting by PA

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