GERMANWINGS PLANE CRASHES IN FRANCE SKI AREA, 150 FEARED DEAD

PHOTO: Family members of passengers on board the Germanwings flight have made their way to airports in Barcelona and Dusseldorf. (Reuters: Gustau Nacarino)
PHOTO: Family members of passengers on board the Germanwings flight have made their way to airports in Barcelona and Dusseldorf. (Reuters: Gustau Nacarino)

Paris, 4 Jumadal Awwal 1436/24 March 2015 (MINA) – An Airbus plane operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings budget airline has crashed in southern France en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, with 150 people on board feared dead.

Germanwings has confirmed 144 passengers, and six crew members were on board flight 4U9525, ABC News quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

France’s junior transport minister Alain Vidalies said there were no survivors.

“The conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, lead us to think there are no survivors,” French president Francois Hollande said

He said there was likely to be a significant number of German victims and that he believed another 45 passengers to be Spanish and “probably” some Turks.

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Mr Hollande said that he could not say with “total certainty” that no French nationals were aboard the flight.

French prime minister Manuel Valls told reporters the cause of the crash, near a ski resort in the French Alps, was unknown.

A spokesman for the DGAC aviation authority said the airplane crashed near the town of Barcelonnette, about 100 kilometres north of the French Riviera city of Nice.

The local La Provence newspaper said the Airbus A320 was carrying 142 passengers, two pilots and four cabin crew, citing aviation officials.

The plane had taken off from Barcelona airport at 08:55 (local time), a spokeswoman for Spain’s airport operator Aena said.

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A Germanwings spokesman said contact between airplane and French radar broke off at 10:53 am (local time) at an altitude of 6,000 feet. (T/P006/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)