The widow of the captain of the Germanwings plane which was deliberately crashed into a mountainside by his co-pilot in 2015 has spoken out for the first time.
Germanwings flight 9525 was returning to Dusseldorf from Barcelona when the plane crashed into a mountain in the French Alps killing all 150 people on board.
Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who had previously been treated for suicidal tendencies and declared “unfit to work” by his doctor, locked pilot Patrick Sondenheimer out of the cockpit before deliberately crashing the plane.
The pilot’s widow Annika Sondenheimer has spoken for the first time about the incident on 24th March 2015.
She said: “I have never spoken publicly about the co-pilot and I will not do so now or in the future.
“Patrick always wanted to move to Dusseldorf. He was a ‘Dusseldorfer’ through and through.
“As soon as I heard about the plane crash, I immediately thought that could be the plane my husband was on.
“After the tragedy, I just survived. At the time my children were only five and three years old.
“In the meantime, we have a stable day-to-day routine. Fear of loss and painful memories are an everyday part of that. Dolphin therapy in Spain really helped the children.”
Annika Sondenheimer trained as a grief counsellor to help others suffering from loss after giving up her job as a lawyer.
She added: “The process of grieving is so very important.”
Annika founded a charity in honour of her husband called ‘Patrick Sondenheimer Stiftungsfond’ to help provide professional advice for children and teenagers coping with grief in their lives.
She said: “In difficult times, young people need qualified advice. We want help them get back the feeling of security, comfort and stability and find their way back in their lives.
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.