CEOs of German Airlines Visit Memorial Near Crash Site In French Alps

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, left, and Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann lay a wreath in memory of the victims of the Germanwings crash. (Photo: Jean-Pierre Clatot, AFP/Getty Images)
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, left, and Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann lay a wreath in memory of the victims of the Germanwings crash. (Photo: Jean-Pierre Clatot, AFP/Getty Images)

The bosses of Germanwings and its parent company, Lufthansa, on Wednesday visited a memorial near the site of the crash in the French Alps that killed all 150 people aboard.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr and his Germanwings counterpart, Thomas Winkelmann, landed by helicopter in Seyne-les-Alpes, before traveling to the small village of Le Vernet and laying flowers at the stone monument.

Spohr said: “It was very important for us to come here today to mourn the victims, to experience the deep sorrow here at this monument.”

He said the airlines would “do everything” to support the location’s transformation into a place of mourning for relatives and friends of the victims, and to “restore this beautiful countryside as much as we can” when the investigation is finished.

Spohr said “it will take a long, long time” to understand what caused the crash. He refused to say what the airline knew about the mental health of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 27, who investigators suspect of deliberately crashing the plane.

The Düesseldorf-bound Airbus A320 crashed into the French Alps less than an hour after departing Barcelona on March 24.

Authorities on Wednesday said they have finished collecting human remains from the site. Lt. Col. Jean-Marc Menichini said investigators “will continue looking for bodies, but at the crash site there are no longer any visible remains,” the Associated Press reported. Officials at France’s national criminal laboratory near Paris said it will take a few months to identify the victims and for the remains to be returned to the families.

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SOURCE: Jane Onyanga-Omara
USA TODAY

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