GRIM ANNIVERSARY Ceremony in the French Alps marks six months since Germanwings crash

Posted on 09/25/2015

Six months to the day after a Germanwings flight crashed into the French Alps killing all 150 people on board, the heads of the company and its and parent company, Lufthansa, gathered near the crash scene to remember the victims.
Lufthansa's Carsten Spohr and Germanwings' Thomas Winkelmann laid a wreath at a memorial in Le Vernet, France.

During their visit, Spohr and Winkelmann visited a chapel and went onto a nearby cemetery where the unidentified remains had been buried. They also spoke with relatives of some of the victims who had attended the ceremony.

“It's been exactly six months since this tragic event which happened here and the Lufthansa and Germanwings groups and all its staff are still in deep sorrow,” Spohr said.

Remembering the “terrible day” of the crash, he said, “I think I speak on behalf of all 120,000 staff of Lufthansa and Germanwings ... when this happened, something changed in the company and the company has not been the same.”

“We cannot really ease the pain, but it's our obligation to try whatever we can do.”

Last month it was reported  that the families of the victims will take legal action against Lufthansa in the US after rejecting the carrier's compensation offer as inadequate.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is believed to have locked the pilot out of the cockpit when the latter went to the washroom on the March 24 flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.  Lubitz then apparently put the aircraft into a steep dive as his colleague tried desperately to get back inside.

Investigators believe Lubitz, who had a history of severe depression, intentionally crashed the plane.

French prosecutors said Lubitz, who suffered from 'psychosis', was terrified of losing his sight and consulted 41 different doctors in the previous five years - including psychiatrists and ear, throat and nose specialists.

Several of these doctors who were questioned by German investigators said Lubitz complained he had only 30 percent vision, saw flashes of light and suffered such crippling anxiety he could barely sleep.

However the doctors he consulted - including one who booked him off work two days before the ill-fated flight - did not reveal his mental struggles due to doctor-patient confidentiality rules.