Bodies of Spanish passengers killed in Germanwings crash repatriated

An airport vehicle pulls three cargo platforms with coffins on the tarmac at the Marseille Provence Airport in Marignane, France on Monday as Lufthansa prepares to transport coffins with the remains of 30 victims of the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash
An airport vehicle pulls three cargo platforms with coffins on the tarmac at the Marseille Provence Airport in Marignane, France on Monday as Lufthansa prepares to transport coffins with the remains of 30 victims of the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash to Barcelona. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MARIGNANE, France (AFP) - The bodies of 32 Spanish victims of the Germanwings flight that crashed into the French Alps in March were flown back to Spain on Monday aboard a specially fitted plane.

The MD11 transport plane, operated by Germanwings parent company Lufthansa, took off from the southern French city of Marseille en route to Barcelona.

"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.

Last week, a similar flight carried home 44 German victims of the crash which was deliberately initiated by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz.

In total, all 150 people aboard the ill-fated Barcelona to Duesseldorf flight died, including 72 Germans and 52 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.

However the doctors he consulted - including one who booked him off work two days before the ill-fated flight on March 24- had not revealed his mental struggles due to doctor-patient confidentiality rules.