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Volunteers Help Concorde Relatives

July 26, 2000

ROISSY, France (AP) _ Volunteers and psychologists struggled Wednesday to find the words to help families shattered by the Concorde crash that killed 113 people.

The first family members arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport late Wednesday morning after flights from Germany, where most of the victims were from.

``The most difficult thing is making contact with the families, and to find the right words to speak to them,″ said Patrice Saoulle, who volunteered to help Air France with the grief counseling even though he works for another airline.

Flight AF4590 slammed into the ground near the airport Tuesday afternoon, killing all 109 passengers and crew members on board and four people on the ground.

Gray skies and a constant drizzle underscored the sadness that engulfed the sprawling airport best known as the gateway for millions of tourists on their way to carefree vacations in Paris.

French authorities erected barriers and stationed a line of police to keep the family members away from the news media and curiosity-seekers.

About 50 psychologists were at the airport Wednesday morning, waiting for the victims’ families, police said. Most of them speak German well enough to help relatives cope with their grief.

The counseling sessions were taking place in a terminal known as T9, the airport’s main charter flight outpost.

Pierre Rode, an emergency command post official, said the first families arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport late Wednesday morning and were being escorted to the T9 terminal by officials, health workers and priests.

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