German A320 Passenger Plane Crashes in French Alps

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( — March 24, 2015)  — France, EU. – A Germanwings Airbus A320 with 142 passengers and 8 crewmembers has crashed in Digne region of southern France, Russia Today reported. According to the flight data, the low-cost airliner was flying from Barcelona to Düsseldorf.

The Spanish Airport operator AENA confirmed the jet took off from Barcelona airport at 08:55 GMT. General Directorate of Civil Aviation confirmed the Germanwings A320 disappeared from radar above French Alps in the Upper Bléone Valley.

“There are no survivors” in the crash of Germanwings flight 4U9525 in the French Alps, said Alain Vidal, secretary of state for transport in Europe.”There was a distress call…. This distress signal showed that the aircraft was at 1524 meters, in an abnormal situation,” he said.

Local TV reported France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed that debris from the crashed jet has been found near the small town of Barcelonnette, a commune in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, about 100 km (65 miles) north of the French Riviera city of Nice.

“There were 148 people on board,” French President Francois Hollande said, RTL reported. “The conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, lead us to think there are no survivors.”

Hollande also expressed condolences to the families of the victims and sympathies to German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the fate of German citizens on board the plane, who were believed to constitute a majority of the passengers.

Reportedly, beside Germans, there was forty-five Spanish and some passengers of Turkish nationality.  

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the investigators are at the scene and the cause of the crash is not yet known.

“We of course don’t know the reasons for the crash,” Valls told the media. “We obviously fear that the 142 to 150 passengers and crew died today, given the conditions of this crash.”

According to Flightradar24, the real-time aircraft flight following online service, the Germanwings A320 flight 4U9525 was lost from radar at about 09:39 GMT.

Though the meteorological conditions were expected to be calm during the flight, the jet reportedly went through unstable weather conditions in the Mediterranean, according to French weather TV channel La Chaîne Météo.

Germanwings, a German low-cost airline based in Cologne, is owned by Lufthansa, the largest airline in Europe. The company fleet has a total of 81 aircraft in service, including Airbus A319s and A320s, and Bombardier CRJ900s.