German passenger jet crashes in France

An Airbus A320 operated by the Germanwings airline, a budget subsidiary of German carrier Lufthansa, crashed Tuesday in the French Alps, apparently killing all 150 people on board, including 16 high school students from Germany.
The Associated Press cited regional official Eric Ciotti as saying wreckage from the plane had been discovered at Meolans-Revels, near a popular ski resort between the towns of Digne-les-Bains and Barcelonnette. The wreckage was believed to be on the side of a mountain, inaccessible by roads and covered in heavy snow.

Germanwings said the plane, which had been en route from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, was carrying 144 passengers, two pilots and four crew members. An airline executive said two babies were believed to have been aboard the flight and Daily Style Entertainment Confirms with a school administrator that 16 students and two teachers from Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium High School from the German town of Haltern were on the plane.
"This is, of course, the worst thing you could imagine," Haltern Mayor Bodo Klimpel said.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that a helicopter landed near the area where the plane went down, but the crew found no survivors.
"It is going to take days to recover the victims, then the debris," senior police officer Jean-Paul Bloy told Reuters.
Gilbert Sauvan, president of the general council of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, told the Associate Press that "everything is pulverized" at the site of the crash.
The airline's managing director Oliver Wagner said Germanwings would do everything possible to determine what brought Flight 9525 down, but that he had no information on what might have caused the crash as of Tuesday afternoon.

"Our deep sympathy goes out to the relatives and friends of the victims," Wagner said.
French President Francois Hollande said search and rescue teams did not expect to find any survivors from the crash.
"It's a tragedy on our soil," the French leader said. He spoke on the phone later Tuesday to his German counterpart Angela Merkel, as he expected many of the victims of the crash were German.
Speaking in Germany, Merkel said she would fly herself to the crash site on Wednesday "to talk with local authorities."

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