Families of Germanwings Crash Victims to Meet Investigators

June 11, 2015 Updated: June 11, 2015
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PARIS—Families of victims of the Germanwings plane crash are meeting with investigators in Paris Thursday, amid lingering questions about why the co-pilot intentionally destroyed the Airbus A320 and how relatives may be compensated for their loss.

The meeting, which is to also focus on the long-stalled return of the victims’ belongings, comes in the same week that the first remains were returned to families after the March 24 crash. All 150 people on board were killed.

The families were holding their own meeting at a Paris hotel before heading off to see Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin, who is leading a French investigation into the crash, and other French officials.

German lawyer Peter Kortas, whose firm represents the relatives of 34 victims, said negotiations with Germanwings began several days ago over compensation. Families were also looking for answers about delays in returning the victims’ remains.

“In this moment everything else is not as important as the fact that the bodies, (the) remains be returned to their families,” he said. “It’s already more than two and a half months since the crash happened, so it’s finally necessary to get to closure.”

“The loss of the relatives should be compensated with also a suitable amount of money,” he said. “There are two points in these negotiations: First, the material loss for the material damages, and it is also about damages for pain and suffering.”

French and German prosecutors say co-pilot Andreas Lubitz intentionally flew Flight 9525 into the French Alps en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. German authorities have said he suffered depression in the past and had researched suicide methods.

The first burial is expected Friday. Victims had a total of 19 nationalities but nearly half were German, and 47 were Spanish.

In Germany Wednesday, a convoy of hearses brought home the remains of a group of students and their teachers from a high school in the town of Haltern who were among the dead. Hundreds of people, some hugging and crying, lined the streets to pay their respects.