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    BBC News Memorial service for Alps crash dead

    A memorial service for the victims of last month's Alps plane crash is to be held at Cologne Cathedral.
    Relatives of the dead passengers will form part of the 1,500-strong congregation, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
    Transport ministers from France and Spain are also expected to attend, as is Lufthansa chief Carsten Spohr.
    Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is accused of deliberately crashing the Germanwings Airbus on 24 March, killing 150 people.
    A candle for each of the victims has been placed on the altar and flags will fly at half-mast across Germany.

    Mourners will be invited to leave flowers on the stairways leading up to the cathedral and large screens have been erected for crowds gathered outside.
    German President Joachim Gauck and Spain's Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz are also expected at the service, which begins at 12:00 (10:00 GMT).
    It will be led by the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki and the president of the Protestant Church of Westphalia, Annette Kurschus.

    Who were the victims?

    The faces of some of the passengers on board the Airbus 320
    • From 18 countries, although most were Spanish or German
    • Sixteen students and two of their teachers, from Joseph-Koenig school in Haltern, western Germany, were travelling back from a Spanish exchange trip
    • Marina Bandres Lopez-Belio, a Spanish filmmaker living in Manchester, was travelling back from a funeral with her seven-month old son Julian Pracz-Bandres
    • Opera singers Maria Radner and Oleg Bryjak had been performing in Barcelona. Radner's husband and baby were also on the plane
    • German media named the captain of the flight as Patrick Sonderheimer. It is believed he had gone to the toilet shortly after take-off, leaving co-pilot Lubitz in charge of the aircraft

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    The Airbus 320 was travelling from Barcelona to Duesseldorf when it crashed with 144 passengers and six crew members on board.
    Recordings retrieved from one of the plane's flight recorders appeared to show Andreas Lubitz locking the captain out of the cockpit, while he put the plane in to descent.
    It later emerged he had a history of depression and was receiving treatment from neurologists and psychiatrists. He had been signed off from work a number of times, including on the day of the crash.
    Some 72 Germans were on board the aircraft when it went down, along with 50 Spaniards and other passengers from around the world.
    Investigators are still trying to formally identify all of the victims, whose remains were recovered from the crash site near the village of Le Vernet.
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    Last edited by Nikki; 17th April 2015 at 12:21 PM.

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