Families Mark First Anniversary Of Germanwings Crash
Hundreds of people gathered in a tiny village in southern France today to remember the victims of the Germanwings plane crash one year ago.
All 150 onboard were killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew an A320 jet into a French mountainside on a flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf on March 24, 2015.
Around 650 family members and over 100 employees from Lufthansa and Germanwings attended the private ceremony on a cold but sunny day in the village of Le Vernet. A minute's silence at 0941 GMT marked the time of the crash.
The families will have an option to visit the crash site on Thursday afternoon.
"We have come here today to Le Vernet to remember the victims and to pay our respects," Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said. "We can't ease this catastrophe either but we can at least be here for the relatives," he said.
A minute of silence was also held in the western German town of Haltern, home to a group of school children coming back from an exchange trip in Spain who were among the victims.
At Duesseldorf and Barcelona airports, memorial plaques were also unveiled.
Lufthansa has paid out hundreds of thousands of euros in compensation to each of the families of the victims, but remains in talks with some lawyers who want to sue in the United States, where payouts are typically higher.