Relatives of 44 out of 72 German victims of the Germanwings plane crash victims arrived at the Dusseldorf airport hangar in Germany to receive the coffins containing the remains of their loved ones after they were sent by France.
The Airbus 320 crashed into the French Alps on its way back to Germany on March 24. Black box records suggested that co-pilot Andrea Lubitz locked the cockpit door when the plane’s main pilot stepped out and crashed the plane, intentionally killing all of the 150 passengers on board.
A cortege is to be prepared for 44 of the 150 victims. Another ceremony is to be held in the north-western German town of Haltern for the 16 schoolkids and 2 teacher from the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium school were returning from a trip to Barcelona via the Germanwings Flight 4525.
French crash investigation agency (BEA) reported that the co-pilot carried out a controlled descent in a previous flight to Barcelona on March 24.
The bodies of the victims were sent to western city of Düsseldorf with a Lufthansa flight, the parent company of the Germanwings airline.
After the airplane landed in Düsseldorf Lufthansa released a statement saying that “after this first special flight to Düsseldorf, the other victims will be gradually transferred to their home countries in the coming weeks.”
"The French authorities are working hard in order to create the formal conditions for the transfer of the victims as soon as possible," the statement read.
"Lufthansa is in close contact with the relatives to ensure that the transfer of the victims is carried out according to the relatives' wishes.”
The remaining 28 bodies of the German victims were late due to the delays of their death certificates.
Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is believed to have deliberately crashed the Airbus A320 into the French Alps in March.
Investigators believed that the co-pilot had a history of depression. German prosecutors also noted that Lubitz researched suicide methods over a number of months.