Express & Star

Wolverhampton father killed in Germanwings tragedy to be returned home

The remains of the British ­victims of the Germanwings plane crash are finally ready to be ­returned to their families, airline bosses have confirmed.


Father-of-two Martyn Matthews, 50, from Bushbury, Wolverhampton, was among 150 killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 27, deliberately flew a jet into a mountain in the French Alps.

Following a 10-week search, each family will now receive a coffin after the horrific task of recovering remains from the wreckage of the disaster.

The budget airline has pledged to deliver every ­victim's coffin in the next few weeks, after claims of a mix-up with some of the death certificates.

Mr Matthews, who worked a senior quality manager at HUF in Tipton, student Paul Bramley, 28, from Hull, and ­baby Julian Pracz-Bandres, who was travelling with his Spanish-born mother Marina, were ­identified through DNA.

Robert Jensen, 49, from crisis management firm Kenyon International, took on the task of finding the bodies from Flight 4U 9525, which crashed on route to Düsseldorf from Barcelona on March 24.

He said recovery teams had found fragments of phones and other ­possessions from the Airbus 320 debris.

"I've been with the families and told them hopefully they will get something that links a recovered phone to them so they can get a picture that may have been saved," he said.

"That is what families have asked for. Not documents or text messages but 'do you have pictures of my loved ones'."

He said each family will receive a ­coffin containing fragments of their ­relatives and a list of its contents.

"You don't know at the time if the smallest fragment you recover is going to be the only thing you are ­going to recover for an individual," he added.

"It can be a tooth, a finger, a fragment.

"We have counsellors, people to assist the family and we will tell them the facts, not persuade or dissuade.

"You have the mortal remains of your loved one, if you open this casket this will be one of the ways you will remember them, that is your choice."

He added that it was likely to be years before all the belongings are returned, if ever.

"Jewellery and photos are the most claimed items," he said.

"Photos you would want to send to your family and friends.

"There were kids on the plane. Families want to see their trip, others want to see a grandchild, a particular smiling face."

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