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SOS Catastrophes mobilised after Germanwings Airbus 320 plane crash

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Mobilisation of SOS Catastrophes network

Yesterday, we were dismayed to hear of the Germanwings Airbus 320 plane crash in France. Our network has immediately been mobilised to help the victims’ families.

Stéphane Gicquel of the French FENVAC (Fédération nationale des victimes d’accidents collectifs) and Pilar Vera Palmes of the Spanish Association of JK5022 Victims are particularly active on this front.

In the long run, SOS Catastrophes will facilitate the exchange of information between the victims’ families and the different national authorities. If you are a family member, do not doubt contacting our network: contact@sos-catastrophes.eu

Towards a French investigation and a French trial

As the Annexe 13 of the Convention of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) sets “The responsibility for an investigation belongs to the State in which the accident or incident occurred. », France is in charge of the investigation.

Marseille court, one of the two French specialised courts in collective accidents, is conducting the judicial investigation. The Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile (BEA), the French authority responsible for safety investigations into accidents or incidents in civil aviation is undertaking the technical investigation.
The FENVAC is associated to both investigations and collaborates with the gendarmerie.

Good practices of family assistance

SOS Catastrophes will have a close look on the respect of good practices regarding the treatment of victims and especially family assistance.

One of the main important good practices are set by the ICAO Policy on Assistance to Aircraft Accident Victims and their Families, Doc 9998, AN/499, 2013. This document lists as recommended family assistance provisions:
a) information about the occurrence;
b) emergency response to the accident;
c) coordination of travel to and lodging at a family assistance center, as well as assistance to those not travelling;
d) coordination of a visit to the accident site, where access is practicable;
e) support for immediate financial needs;
f) information about the location and status of the victims, and the recovery, identification and disposition of remains;
g) information regarding the recovery, management and return of personal effects;
h) social, emotional and psychological support; and
i) information about the progress of the investigation and its objective.

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