Latest News

Pope sends condolences to families of Germanwings crash victims

Candles, with the names of the victims, at a vigil in Haltern (AP)

The Pope has expressed his grief over the Alps plane disaster in which 150 were killed yesterday.

In a telegram the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that Pope Francis “joins in the grief of the families” of the victims, among them many children. Francis also prayed for those who died “entrusting them to the mercy of God”.

Among the dead on board the Germanwings airbus were a group of 16 German schoolchildren who had been in Barcelona on a school trip. They all hailed from the Rhineland town of Haltern and many of their parents were at the airport in Dussledorf when the news broke.

Yesterday afternoon the town’s St Sixtus Roman Catholic Church opened its doors and was packed for the remainder of the day. People listened in silence as the organ played.

The investigation has begun into the cause of the crash, the worst in the European Union for 20 years.