Germanwings Airbus crashes in French Alps, 150 feared dead

LA JAVIE, France (Reuters) – 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.

Photo

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.

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

Officials said the plane issued a distress call at 0947 GMT, about 52 minutes after take-off. The accident happened in a snow-clad alpine area that is hard for rescue services to reach.

Hollande said there were likely to be significant numbers of Germans on the flight. Spain’s deputy prime minister said 45 passengers had Spanish names.

It was the first crash of a large passenger jet on French soil since the Concorde disaster just outside Paris in July 2000. The A320 is a workhorse of worldwide aviation fleets. They are the world’s most used passenger jets and have a good though not unblemished safety record.

“DARK DAY”

Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr spoke of a “dark day” for the airline.

“We do not yet know what has happened to flight 4U9525. My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew,” Lufthansa said on Twitter, citing Spohr.

“If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors,” it said.

A spokesman for France’s DGAC aviation authority said the airliner crashed near the town of Barcelonnette about 100 km (65 miles) north of the French Riviera city of Nice.

French and German accident investigators were heading for the crash site in Meolans-Revel, a remote and sparsely inhabited commune in the foothills of the French Alps.

German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt would also travel to the crash site, a ministry spokesman said.

Airbus said it was aware of reports of the crash.

“We are aware of the media reports,” Airbus said on Twitter. “All efforts are now going towards assessing the situation. We will provide further information as soon as available.”

Officials at Barcelona airport said the flight took off at 0855 GMT. Families of those on board the plane were gathering at a specially prepared building there.

The crashed A320 is 24 years old — at the upper end of useful life of an aircraft in first-tier airlines — and has been with the parent Lufthansa group since 1991, according to online database airfleets.net

 

Related Posts
Zambia’s Lungu faces battle to restore economic growth
LUSAKA — Zambia’s newly re-elected President Edgar Lungu faces an uphill battle to revive an economy reeling from a slump in copper prices, with a free-falling currency and widening budget ...
READ MORE
Nigerian students give SA companies 24 hours ultimatum to leave over xenophobic attacks
ABUJA, Nigeria - The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, have given all South African countries operating in Nigeria a 24 hours ultimatum to leave the country. This is in ...
READ MORE
Kenya shuts down Somali remittance firms, freezes accounts
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya has suspended the licences of 13 Somali remittance firms following the massacre at a Kenyan university last week, Somalia's central bank governor said on Wednesday, and ...
READ MORE
Chinese President Xi Jinping, chats to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, right, upon his arrival in Harare, Zimbabwe, Tuesday, Dec. 1. 2015. Jinping is in Zimbabwe for a two day State visit during which he is set to sign some bilateral agreements aimed at strengthening relationships between the two countries. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - China's President Xi Jinping told African presidents on Friday at a summit that his country would provide $60 billion over three years to fund development on the ...
READ MORE
Sweden and Ecuador edge closer to end of Julian Assange standoff
LONDON -Swedish government agrees to direct talks with Ecuador which may lead to WikiLeaks founder being interviewed in London. Sweden has offered to negotiate an agreement with Ecuador to enable Swedish ...
READ MORE
SA’s exit from ICC has ripple effect in Africa
Johannesburg - South Africa’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court has spurred on other African countries to follow suit, with Kenya the latest to pull out of the institution. By Siyabonga ...
READ MORE
Brics in danger of collapsing as members fail to cohere
WITH China’s economy in slowdown mode and continuing to cause turmoil across the world, doubts have once again surfaced about the prospects of the Brics bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China ...
READ MORE
Zuma denies affair with South African Airways boss
DURBAN - South African President Jacob Zuma on Saturday denied rumors he had an affair with the chairwoman of state-owned airline amid media speculation the relationship had led to the ...
READ MORE
President of South Africa Jacob Zuma gestures during a news briefing with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (not pictured) at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, November 17, 2015.   REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A no-confidence motion against South Africa's President Jacob Zuma due for a vote in parliament on Thursday "has no chance of succeeding", the African National Congress' (ANC) ...
READ MORE
‘Boko Haram crashed out of last enclave’ – Nigeria
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- The Boko Haram extremist group has finally been crushed - driven from its last forest enclave with fighters on the run and no place to hide, ...
READ MORE
Zambia’s Lungu faces battle to restore economic growth
Nigerian students give SA companies 24 hours ultimatum
Kenya shuts down Somali remittance firms, freezes accounts
China’s Xi cheers African leaders with pledge of
Sweden and Ecuador edge closer to end of
SA’s exit from ICC has ripple effect in
Brics in danger of collapsing as members fail
Zuma denies affair with South African Airways boss
No-confidence motion against Zuma will fail: ANC
‘Boko Haram crashed out of last enclave’ –

Arts & Entertainment