Plane carrying 142 passengers and six crew has crashed in French Alps

A plane carrying 142 passengers and six crew has crashed in the southern French Alps en route from Spain to Germany.

The Airbus A320 disappeared from radar in the Alpes de Hautes Provence after sending a distress signal at 10.47am local time (9.47am GMT).
Debris from the jet, operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings budget airline, has been found scattered over a wide area near Barcelonnette.
French president Francois Hollande said that he did not expect there to be any survivors.
He said: It’s a loss, a tragedy which has happened on our soil.
‘I am seeking information about homes in the area it came down. It’s difficult place to access. In the meantime solidarity must prevail.’

Flight 4U9525 was travelling from the Spanish coastal city of Barcelona to the German city of Duesseldorf when it went down in the Barcelonnette area in southeastern France.

German media reports say there is a wide field of debris visible.
According to flight data from FlightAware 24, at 09.30 UTC (10.30 GMT) the aircraft was cruising at 38,000 feet at 532mph.
It started losing altitude to 37,975 by 10.31am with the speed reportedly increasing to 548mph.
But 10.41am, the last reported radar returns had the aircraft descending to 6,800 feet at 434mph.
The aircraft plunged 31,200 feet in just ten minutes, according to the data.

The plane crashed into a small valley around 2,000m (6,500ft) metres above sea level.
The body of the plane is understood to have been found intact, according to Europe1.
Pierre Polizzi, the owner of a nearby camping site told Al Jazeera: ‘The plane crashed just 2km from here, high on a mountain.
‘There was loud noise and then suddenly nothing. At first I thought it came from fighter jets that often hold drills in the area.’

Shares in Lufthansa and Airbus were down 4.7 percent and 2.1 per cent respectively after news of the accident.
Lufthansa was also hit by a four-day pilots’ strike last week, although this did not affect Germanwings.
The crashed A320 is 24 years old and has been with the parent Lufthansa group since 1991, according to online database airfleets.net.

According to the mayor of Barcelonette, the distress signal was received at 10.47am local time and the plane disappeared from radar screens at 11.20am.

The plane crashed into a small valley around 2,000m (6,500ft) metres above sea level.
The body of the plane is understood to have been found intact, according to Europe1.

Shares in Lufthansa and Airbus were down 4.7 percent and 2.1 per cent respectively after news of the accident. Lufthansa was also hit by a four-day pilots’ strike last week, although this did not affect Germanwings.
The crashed A320 is 24 years old and has been with the parent Lufthansa group since 1991, according to online database airfleets.net.

San Jose, the Spanish airport authority spokesman, said his agency was working with Germanwings to reach out to relatives of the victims. Spain’s king and queen were in Paris on Tuesday for a previously planned state visit.

The last time a passenger jet crashed in France was the 2000 Concorde accident, which left 113 dead — 109 in the plane and four on the ground.

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