Germanwings flight 4U9525 crashes in the Alps
An Airbus operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings budget airline crashed in a remote snowy area of the French Alps on Tuesday and all 150 on board were feared dead.
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.
The accident happened very quickly, with the aircraft’s radar data showing signs of it having levelled off briefly before striking a mountain ridge some 500-600 metres below its crest.
All onboard were reported to have been killed following initial sightings of wreckage by rescue helicopters flown over the crash zone in misty weather conditions.
Germanwings is the low cost brand of Lufthansa, and the jet was flying between Barcelona and Dusseldorf.
The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) is closely monitoring the developments related to the accident of Germanwings flight 4U9525, an A320 aircraft en-route from Barcelona (BCN) to Düsseldorf (DUS).
The crash site was at Meolans-Revels, near the popular ski resort of Pra Loup, according to Eric Ciotti, the head of the regional council in southeast France. The site is 700 kilometers (430 miles) south-southeast of Paris. But with mountains all around and few clear trails into the area, access to the crash site was expected to take time.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with both Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy about the crash, immediately cancelling all other appointments.
At a briefing in Berlin, Merkel told reporters she would travel to the crash site region on Wednesday, and that Germany’s foreign and transport ministers were already en route. She said her thoughts were “with those people who so suddenly lost their lives, among them many compatriots. The crash of the German plane with more than 140 people on board is a shock that plunges us in Germany, the French and the Spanish into deep sorrow,” Merkel said.
She reminded everyone that the cause was not known. “We still don’t know much beyond the bare information on the flight, and there should be no speculation on the cause of the crash,” she said. “All that will be investigated thoroughly.”