Germanwings victims flown home to Spain

The remains of Spanish victims of the Germanwings were being flown back to Barcelona on Monday.

Germanwings victims flown home to Spain
The bodies were loaded onto a special flight at Marseille on Monday. Photo: Boris Horvat / AFP

A Lufthansa cargo plane transported the coffins of 32 Spanish victims of flight 4U9525 more than 11 weeks after the Germanwings passenger plane crashed in the French Alps en route to Düsseldorf from Barcelona.

The coffins were loaded into the Lufthansa MD-11 cargo plane at Marseille's Marignane airport and were due to land at Barcelona’s El Prat airport at 5.30pm.

“These coffins will now be transferred to the relatives of the victims on the evening of 15th June and on 16th June,” said Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings in a statement released on Monday.

“The transfer of the remaining victims from Spain will fulfil the wishes of relatives of the victims by also involving the transfer of some coffins to other Spanish destinations.”

“The firm's aim is to be able to repatriate all the bodies by the end of the month,” said a Lufthansa representative on the scene.

“There are 32 coffins being flown to Barcelona today and others will be transferred to other airports such as Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia at the request of the families. Some have chosen to have the remains  of their loved-ones cremated in France,” a spokesman told The Local. 

Last week, a similar flight carried home German victims of the crash which was deliberately initiated by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 27.

Investigators last month finished identifying the remains of all 150 people aboard Germanwings Flight 4U9525, which included 72 Germans and 51 Spaniards.

On Thursday, the French prosecutor leading the investigation into the disaster said he had opened up a probe to see if anyone could be held liable for manslaughter.

Lubitz, whom prosecutors said suffered from “psychosis”, saw 41 doctors over the course of five years and was terrified of losing his sight.