(Update March 24, 9PM) - Over 150 people believed to be dead after a German airliner crashed near a ski resort in the French Alps on Tuesday.
French President Francois Hollande said he believed none of those on board the A320 had survived, while the head of Lufthansa spoke of a dark day for the German airline.
Germanwings confirmed its flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf crashed in the French Alps with 144 passengers and six crew members on board, said Reuters report.
Offcials said that the Airbus A320 operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings issued a distress call at 10:47 where the plane showed at 5,000 feet in abnormal situation.
Shortly thereafter, air traffic controllers sent out an alert, as the plane descended rapidly from a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet while flying over the town of Barcelonnette in the Alpes de Haute-Provence region, French aviation authorities said.
"It's an area that is snowbound, inaccessible to (ground) vehicles, but which could be overflown by helicopters," he said. The minister was to head to the crash zone with other government officials.
Flight #4U9525 initially climbed to 38,000 feet before before it started to descend and lost signal at 6,800 feet.
Germanwings flight #4U9525 (registration D-AIPX) was lost from Flightradar24 at 6800 feet at 09.39 UTC time. pic.twitter.com/vZaQMUlLaZ
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) Marso 24, 2015
|French firefighters prepare to take-off in Digne-les-Bains for the crash site of an Airbus A320 in the French Alps. Photograph: JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER/REUTERS|
Source : Reuters / GMA News