Airbus plane crashes in Alps region
202.5

LiveBlog

Airbus plane crashes in Alps region

An Airbus plane with at least 144 passengers, two pilots and four flight attendants on board has crashed in the Alps region.








    French media report plane crash in the Alps, 148 aboard

    PARIS (AP) — The French newspaper La Provence says an Airbus plane with at least 142 passengers, two pilots and four flight attendants on board has crashed in the Alps region.

    The regional paper cited French civil aviation authorities for the number of people. According to the paper, the plane crashed between Digne et Barcelonnette.

    Airbus said it is aware of the reports of a crash but could not confirm.

    This story is developing. Stay with WTOP.com for the latest.














    AP: The Latest: Germanwings still awaiting info on crash
    AP 

    The CEO of Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, says he doesn’t yet have any information about what happened to its flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf that French officials say has crashed in the Alps.

    “My deepest sympathy is with all the relatives and friends of our passengers and crew on 4U 9525,” Carsten Spohr was cited in a tweet by Lufthansa as saying. “If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors.

    Antonio San Jose, spokesman for Spanish airport authority AENA, told the Onda Cero radio station that authorities do not yet know how many Spaniards were on the jet but that the authority’s best information is that 147 people were aboard the plane.

    “It would be a miracle if there were survivors but hopefully there will be. We do not know the causes, simply that it lost contact,” San Jose said.

    1 p.m. (1200 GMT, 8 a.m. EDT)

    French President Francois Hollande has spoken briefly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to express solidarity following the crash of a Germanwings plane in southern France.

    The German ambassador is leaving imminently with Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve for the area of the crash.

    The Airbus A320 crashed in the south of the Alps while flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf in Germany. Holland says no survivors are expected.

    Spanish King Felipe and his wife are in France on a previously scheduled visit and are currently meeting Hollande.

    12:40 p.m. (1140 GMT, 7:40 a.m. EDT)

    French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet says debris from the crash of an Airbus A320 has been located and the plane crashed at 2,000 meters altitude in the Alps.

    Brandet told BFM television that he expected “an extremely long and extremely difficult” search and rescue operation because of the area’s remoteness.

    The airplane sent out a distress signal at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, Brandet said.

    He said the passenger manifest is being verified.

    12:30 p.m. (1130 GMT, 7:30 a.m. EDT)

    French President Francois Hollande says no survivors are likely in the Alpine crash of a passenger jet carrying 148 people.

    The Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed Tuesday in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, French officials said. Eric Ciotti, the head of the regional council, said search-and-rescue teams were headed to the crash site at Meolans-Revels.

    In a live briefing Tuesday, Hollande said the area of the crash was remote and it was not clear whether anyone on the ground had been hurt. Hollande said it was probable that a number of the victims are German.

    “It’s a tragedy on our soil,” he said, adding he would be speaking shortly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The French newspaper La Provence, citing aviation officials, said the Airbus plane carried at least 142 passengers, two pilots and four flight attendants.

    Read more on WTOP.com.



    From AP: A320 has good safety record


    1:25 p.m. (1225 GMT, 8:25 a.m. EDT)

    The Airbus 320 plane that went down in the French Alps is a workhorse of modern aviation. Similar to the Boeing 737, the single-aisle, twin-engine jet is used to connect cities that are between one and five hours apart. Worldwide, 3,606 A320s are in operation, according to Airbus, which also makes the smaller but near-identical A318 and A319 and the stretched A321. An additional 2,486 of those jets are flying.

    The Germanwings A320 crashed Tuesday crashed in the south of the Alps while flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf in Germany. No survivors are expected.

    The A320 family has a good safety record, with just 0.14 fatal accidents per million takeoffs, according to a Boeing safety analysis.

    ___

    1:10 p.m. (1210 GMT, 8:10 a.m. EDT)

    The CEO of Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, says he doesn’t yet have any information about what happened to its flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf that French officials say has crashed in the Alps.

    “My deepest sympathy is with all the relatives and friends of our passengers and crew on 4U 9525,” Carsten Spohr was cited in a tweet by Lufthansa as saying. “If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors.

    Antonio San Jose, spokesman for Spanish airport authority AENA, told the Onda Cero radio station that authorities do not yet know how many Spaniards were on the jet but that the authority’s best information is that 147 people were aboard the plane.

    “It would be a miracle if there were survivors but hopefully there will be. We do not know the causes, simply that it lost contact,” San Jose said.





    AP UPDATE: Germanwings says 150 aboard crash plane

    1:40 p.m. (1240 GMT, 8:40 a.m. EDT)

    Airline Germanwings says there were 144 passengers and six crew aboard a plane that crashed in the French Alps.

    Manager Oliver Wagner did not say whether there were any survivors and added it was not currently possible to give more information on how the accident occurred. “I promise that we will do everything to clear up the events thoroughly,” he said. “We are endlessly sorry for what has happened.

    Other officials have given slightly differing figures for the number on board.

    The Airbus 320 crashed Tuesday morning during a flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, Germany. French President Francois Hollande has said no survivors are expected.

    The Germanwings logo, normally maroon and yellow, was blacked out on its Twitter feed.

    AP UPDATE: Germanwings says plane went into long descent

    The boss of airline Germanwings says the plane went into a long descent before it crashed into the French Alps, likely killing all 150 people on board.

    Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann said the plane began descending again shortly after it reached its cruising height following takeoff from Barcelona Airport. The descent lasted eight minutes, he told reporters in Cologne. Radar and air traffic control contact broke off at 10:53 a.m.

    He said the pilot had more than 10 years’ experience working for Germanwings and its parent airline Lufthansa. Airbus said the A320 was delivered to Lufthansa in 1991.

    Germanwings said the passenger manifest included two babies. Officials believe there were 67 German nationals on board.



    AP UPDATE: ‘Everything is pulverized’ at plane crash site

    11:05 a.m EDT

    A local lawmaker says the debris from the plane crash in the French Alps that killed all 150 people on board is spread over 100-200 meters (110-220 yards).

    Gilbert Sauvan, president of the general council of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, told the AP that “everything is pulverized.”

    He said the largest pieces of debris are the size of a small car.

    Sauvan said no one can access the site from the ground, but that helicopters are circling the area to get information and 500 firefighters and gendarmes are in the area.

    See photos as rescuers mobilize and head to the crash site. 

    Rescue
    workers and gendarme gather in Seyne-les-Alpes, French Alps, Tuesday,
    March 24, 2015, as search-and-rescue teams struggle to reach the remote
    crash site of Germanwings passenger plane.
    A Germanwings passenger jet
    carrying 150 people crashed Tuesday in the French Alps as it flew from
    Spain's Barcelona airport to Duesseldorf in Germany, authorities
    said.
    (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
     


    ALERT: PARIS (AP) - French interior minister: A black box has been found at plane crash
    site in French Alps.

    Crash is Germanwings' first fatal accident since 2002 start

    WTOPFRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germanwings, a low-cost unit of Lufthansa, had recorded no accidents involving passenger deaths until one of its planes crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 on board. Aviation…

    UPDATE: Rescuers mobilized, interior minister says little hope of survivors

    11:55 a.m EDT

    French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says 10 helicopters and a military plane have been mobilized to the site in the French Alps where a Germanwings plane crashed en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.

    At a news conference at Seyne les Alpes, Cazeneuve left open the possibility that some of the 150 people onboard could have survived.

    He said “the violence of the shock leaves little hope,” but refused to be categorical.

    A photo of the crash scene from La Provence newspaper showed scattered flecks across a mountain and several larger pieces which appear to be part of the body of the plane, with five windows seen on
    one and four on another.

    Multilingual tweets 

    French newspaper La Provence has been tweeting videos, photos, updates and more in multiple languages: French, English and also Spanish. 

    The Germanwings flight originated in Spain. Follow along @LaProvence
    UPDATE: German opera singer was on board crashed plane

    1:50 p.m EDT

    An opera house in Duesseldorf says bass baritone Oleg Bryjak was among the 150 people onboard the plane that crashed in the French Alps.

    Officials believe all onboard were likely killed when the plane crashed on its way from Barcelona in Spain to Duesseldorf, Germany.

    The Deutsche Oper am Rhein said Bryjak was on his way back from Barcelona, where he had sung Alberich in Richard Wagner’s “Siegfried” at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.

    Director Christoph Meyer said that “we have lost a great performer and a great person in Oleg Bryjak. We are stunned.

    UPDATE: Authorities still treating crash as an accident

    2:05 p.m EDT

    A Lufthansa vice president says the company is treating the crash of a Germanwings jet in France that carried 150 people as an accident for “the time being.”

    Heike Birlenbach told reporters in Barcelona that for now “we say it is an accident. There is nothing more we can say right now.

    She also said that the plane, bound for Duesseldorf in Germany, took off from Barcelona 30 minutes late Tuesday but did not know what caused the delay.

    The Airbus A320 was inspected by Lufthansa’s technical team on Monday.

    Germanwings is a low-cost carrier owned by Lufthansa.
    UPDATE: Second opera singer identified as passenger

    3:20 p.m. EDT

    A Spanish opera house says a second singer, German contralto Maria Radner along with her husband and baby, were among the 150 victims of the plane crash in the French Alps.

    Earlier Tuesday, an opera house in Duesseldorf said bass baritone Oleg Bryjak was on the plane which crashed on its way from Barcelona in Spain to Duesseldorf, Germany.

    Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu said Radner, like Bryjak, had performed in its production of Richard Wagner’s “Siegfried.”

    UPDATE: Black box recovered

    13:30 a.m EDT

    AP - A French Interior Ministry official says the black box has been recovered from the site in the French Alps where a plane carrying 150 people crashed.

    The official, who was not authorized to speak about the crash publicly, confirmed to The Associated Press that the black box was in hand.

    French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve earlier Tuesday said the black box had been located and would be handed to investigators in coming hours.

    Officials believe all onboard were likely killed when the plane crashed on its way from Barcelona in Spain to Duesseldorf, Germany.

    UPDATE: Passenger info should be available quickly

    5:50 p.m. EDT

    Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr says initial information about the cause of the plane crash over the French Alps, which killed all 150 people onboard, should be available “relatively quickly.”

    Spohr expressed satisfaction that authorities had found the first black box from the Germanwings plane that crashed on its way from Barcelona to Duesseldorf and said he would not speculate on the cause of the crash until its data had been analyzed.

    Spohr told Germany’s ARD television the firm and investigators would “try to find out and then understand how this blackest day of our company’s 60-year history could happen.”

    Germanwings is a low-cost carrier owned by Lufthansa.
    UPDATE: Spanish town mourns passenger

    6:10 p.m. EDT

    Hundreds of students, parents and townspeople from a small Spanish town have gathered at a weekly mass to mourn a group of German exchange students who died in the plane crash over the French Alps after visiting the town.

    The mass at a local church turned into an unofficial outpouring of grief for the students and their two teachers who were among the 150 people who died in the crash Tuesday.

    Andrea Perez Martinez, 20, who had participated in the exchange with the German school in Haltern four years ago came to mourn the loss of one of the two teachers, whom she identified as Claudia.

    “This really hurts because the teacher, one of the two that died, was with us on the trips we took and everything when we went there,” Perez Martinez said.

    The Spanish school that hosted the German students, Institut Giola, said in a statement: “We extend our condolences to the victims of this tragic accident as well as the educational community of the Joseph-Konig-Gymnasium” in Germany.

    Jet crashes in Alps, 150 on board; ‘no survivors’ expected

    AP 

    SEYNE-LES-ALPES, France (AP) — A Germanwings jet carrying 150 people from Barcelona to Duesseldorf slammed into a remote section of the French Alps on Tuesday, sounding like an avalanche as it scattered pulverized debris across a rocky mountain and down its steep ravines. All aboard were assumed killed.

    The pilots sent out no distress call and had lost radio contact with their control center, France’s aviation authority said, deepening the mystery over the A320’s mid-flight crash after a surprise 8-minute descent.

    “The site is a picture of horror. The grief of the families and friends is immeasurable. We must now stand together. We are united in our great grief,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement after being flown over the crash scene and briefed by French authorities.

    The crash left officials and families across Europe reeling in shock. Sobbing, grieving relatives at both airports were led away by airport workers and crisis counselors. One German town was rent with sorrow after losing 16 high school students coming back from an exchange program in Spain.

    “This is pretty much the worst thing you can imagine,” a visibly rattled Haltern Mayor Bodo Klimpel said at a hastily called press conference.

    As helicopters were deployed to reach the crash site, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged reporters not to speculate on the cause.

    The plane left Barcelona at 9:55 a.m. Germanwings official Thomas Winkelmann said it began descending again shortly after it reached its cruising height of 38,000 feet following takeoff from Barcelona Airport. The descent lasted eight minutes, he told reporters in Cologne. Radar and air traffic control contact with the plane broke off at 10:53 a.m. at an altitude of about 6,000 feet.

    The plane crashed in a mountainous zone in the French Alps at an altitude of about 2,000 meters (6,550 feet), said Pierre-Henry Brandet, the French Interior Ministry spokesman.

    Winkelmann said the pilot had more than 10 years’ experience working for Germanwings and its parent airline Lufthansa. Airbus said the A320 was delivered to Lufthansa in 1991.

    Germanwings said Flight 9525 carried 144 passengers, including two babies, and 6 crew members. Officials believe there were 67 German nationals on board.

    Click here to read the full story. 

    UPDATE: 'Picture of horror'

    2:55 p.m. EDT

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the crash site is “a picture of horror.”

    After being flown over the crash scene and briefed by French authorities, he said: “The grief of the families and friends is immeasurable. We must now stand together. We are united in our great grief.

    He was also quoted by his ministry as thanking the French for their “exemplary” help.

    The Germanwings flight crashed in France on its way from Barcelona, Spain, to Duesseldorf, Germany.
    AP UPDATE: France releases photos of mangled data recorder

    1 p.m. (1200 GMT, 8 a.m. EDT)

    France’s aviation investigation bureau has released photos of the badly mangled voice data recorder from the Germanwings flight that crashed into an Alpine mountainside.

    The images show the metal black box — which is actually a bright orange-red — twisted, dented and scarred by the impact of the crash.

    The cockpit voice recorder was recovered on Tuesday and French officials say they are working to pull its data.

    Courtesy AP 

    UPDATE: 3 generations of a family die in plane crash

    1:15 p.m. (1215 GMT, 8:15 a.m. EDT)

    Three generations of one family — a schoolgirl, her mother and grandmother — were on the Germanwings plane that crashed, according to a town outside Barcelona.

    A statement from Sant Cugat del Valles town hall didn’t provide their names.

    The girl was a student of a middle school for children aged 10 to 11 at Santa Isabel school in Sant Cugat.

    “The students are very affected. The teachers are trying to help them any way they can,” said a woman who answered the phone at the school. She refused to give her name or comment further.

    —By Associated Press writer Jorge Sainz in Madrid.

    AP UPDATE: Obama, Cameron express condolences

    1:50 p.m. (1250 GMT, 8:50 a.m. EDT)

    U.S. President Barack Obama has called Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to express his condolences following the crash of the Germanwings plane in which at least 35 Spaniards died.

    Obama conveyed “his condolences and those of the American people to Spain and to the families lost on the flight,” the U.S. Embassy in Madrid said. Obama also offered assistance from American officials.

    Speaking in Parliament, British Prime Minister David Cameron also offered condolences on Tuesday’s crash that killed 150.

    “It is heartbreaking to hear about the schoolchildren, the babies, the families whose lives have been brought to an end,” he said.

    The British government believes three British nationals died, and is checking to see if there might have been more.

    Get the latest updates on WTOP.com.

    AP UPDATE: Germanwings CEO gives latest victim breakdown

    Germanwings’ chief executive says the airline’s current information is that 72 Germans, 35 Spanish citizens and two Americans were on board the flight that crashed in southern France.

    Thomas Winkelmann told reporters in Cologne on Wednesday that the list isn’t yet final because the company is still trying to contact relatives of 27 victims.

    Winkelmann says in some cases victims’ nationality isn’t entirely clear, in part because of dual citizenship.

    There were two victims each from Australia, Argentina, Iran and Venezuela. One victim each came from Britain, the Netherlands, Colombia, Mexico, Japan, Denmark, Belgium and Israel.

    Spain’s government said they had identified 49 Spanish victims, while Britain says it believes there were at least three Britons on board.


    Zeta chapter is mourning the loss of our beautiful alumni, Emily Selke. Emily and her mother were abroad the plane from Barcelona to Düsseldorf that crashed yesterday. Emily served as our membership VP while in Zeta and she was an integral part of our growing chapter. She embodied the spirit of Gamma Sigma Sigma. As a person and friend, Emily always put others before herself and cared deeply for all those in her life. Emily will be greatly missed by her fellow sisters of Zeta. Please keep Emily, her mother and their family in your thoughts and prayers during this heartbreaking time.
    by Gamma Sigma Sigma Zet... via Facebook

    Terribly sorry to hear about Yvonne and Emily Selke, two Virginians killed in the France plane crash.
    France cracks open plane’s black box, seals off crash site
    AP 

    SEYNE-LES-ALPES, France (AP) — French investigators cracked open the badly damaged black box of a German jetliner on Wednesday and sealed off the rugged Alpine crash site where 150 people died when their plane slammed into a mountain.

    The cockpit voice recorder was being mined by investigators for clues into what sent the Germanwings Airbus 320 into a mid-flight dive Tuesday after pilots lost radio contact over the southern French Alps during a routine flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.

    Helicopters surveying the scattered debris lifted off at daybreak, and crews traveled slowly over land to the remote crash site through fresh snow and rain, threading their way to the craggy ravine. Bereaved families and the French, German and Spanish leaders were expected later Wednesday.

    “The black box is damaged and must be reconstituted in the coming hours in order to be useable,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told RTL radio.

    Key to the investigation is what happened the two minutes of 10:30 a.m. and 10:31 a.m., said Segolene Royal, a top government minister whose portfolio includes transport. From then on, air traffic controllers were unable to make contact with the plane.

    Read more on WTOP.com.

Powered by ScribbleLive Content Marketing Software Platform