A Germanwings Airbus A320 plane crashed on Tuesday in southeastern France near Digne les Bains, killing everyone on board.
French President Francois Hollande said on television there were no survivors. "Solidarity must be our first sentiment," Hollande said speaking on French television.
He also added that the site of the Germanwings plane crash is a "very difficult area to access" and hence rescue work could be delayed.
The plane was headed from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany.
Flightradar24 tweeted @flightradar24 that they had report that the Germanwings A320 had crashed after the Flight 4U9525 lost contact with the traffic control at 6800 feet near Digne in southern France.
It also stated that the flight lost contact with air traffic control at around 09:39 UTC. According to FlightRadar24 data, the plane initially climbed to 38,000 feet before before it started to descend and lost signal at 6,800 feet.
It was descending with a rate of about 3000-4000 feet per minute, which the website said was "quite standard" for an airport approach.
You can watch a France24 live stream of news and updates from the crash here.
Germanwings Airbus A320 - Live Blog
Unconfirmed: possible survivor reported - Newspaper Haute-Provence Info @HPInfo quoting a French policeman named Général David Galtier said that rescuing survivors is an "urgent" priority after his team saw "a body that moved".
Général David Galtier : "l'urgence c'est de secourir les éventuels survivants, on aurait aperçu un corps qui bouge" #crashA320
— Haute-Provence Info (@HPInfo) March 24, 2015
Germanwings said it was unclear what caused its Airbus A320 aircraft to crash as there had been no problems with the plane before takeoff. "There were no anomalies on the plane," the Lufthansa unit's Managing Director Thomas Winkelmann said.
US reviewing whether any American citizens were onboard
The US state department has said it is saddened by news of the crash and offered its assistance in the investigation. It said it is reviewing whether any US citizens were on board.
— Jason Seher (@jhseher) March 24, 2015
US Security Council Doesn't Think Terrorists Downed the Plane:
The US National Security Council has said there is nothing to suggest terrorists downed the plane.
Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said: "There is no indication of a nexus to terrorism at this time."American officials have been in touch with French, German and Spanish counterparts to offer assistance.
French national police service involved in the emergency operation have deployed 9 helicopters and 210 gendarmes to start the recovery operation. There appears to be no hope of survivors.
One Belgian could be among the 150 passengers: At least one of the passengers on board was a Belgian, according to the country's foreign affairs minister. (Via Le Soir)
German air accident investigators are on their way to the crash site, the Ministry of Transport said. The team of experts from Germany's Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents hope to establish the cause of the crash of the Germanwings Airbus A320.
First images of the crash site have emerged.
"So far we have not found survivors. The shock leaves little hope, " said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve "We are mobilizing exceptional means. Nearly 300 firefighters, 300 soldiers of the National Gendarmerie, 10 helicopters and military aircraft"
US President Barack Obama has offered US assistance in helping the Germanwings crash rescue team
The plane is totally destroyed : French MP, Christophe Castaner, after flying over the crash site described the scene as "a horror" He tweeted: "The plane is totally destroyed."
Recovering Bodies of victim could take days
French police have warned that it is likely to take days to recover victims' bodies due to the weather and terrain."It is going to take days to recover the victims, then the debris," senior police officer Jean-Paul Bloy told Reuters.
A helicopter has landed at crash site
Despite the snowy weather conditions, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says a helicopter has managed to land near the crash site. Gilbert Sauvan, an official with the local council, told Les Echos newspaper: "The plane is disintegrated. The largest debris is the size of a car."
— David Coquille (@DavidLaMars) March 24, 2015
Eyewitness thought it was an avalanche: "At first we thought it was an avalanche", a Germanwings crash witness told BBC. Sandrine Boisse from the tourism office of Pra Loup, a ski resort close to where Germanwings flight 4U9525 crashed thought it was an avalanche.
Germanwings says jet nosedived for eight minutes before crash
Germanwings crash response team says 'bodies strewn over a hectare'
Plane crash at cruising altitude rare - If accidents happen, they usually happen during the approach for a landing, or the landing itself, or at take-off or shortly afterwards - 80 percent of all crashes happen during those phases, but it is a very, very rare event during cruise. Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr (via DW)
Germanwings CEO Thomas WInkelmann confirmed at the press conference that 67 Germans were among the dead.
Merket promises to find the cause of the accident: Chancellor Merkel said she had telephone conversations with French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who had agreed to do everything possible to establish the cause of the crash.
Germanwings is currently holding a press conference: They confirmed that 144 passengers, including two babies, and six crew including two pilots and four flight attendants were aboard.
The plane had undergone a routine mechanical check on Monday in Düsseldorf, just hours before its final flight. Its last major service was in summer 2013 - as called for under the manufacturer Airbus' maintenance schedule.
The pilot had more than 10 years' experience with Lufthansa and Germanwings, and a total of 6,000 flight hours on the A320 model.
Germanwings, Lufthansa, and Airbus technicians are on their way to the crash site to help the investigation in any way they can.
"Together with the authorities we will do everything to understand the cause of this accident as quickly and comprehensively as possible," Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann said.
Germanwings cancels flights: After confirming the plane crash, Germanwings has cancelled its first flight 4U9764 out of Düsseldorf to Zurich. Long lines are forming at the check-in desk.
Schoolchildren onboard the plane: A spokesman for the town of Haltern in North Rhine-Westphalia has confirmed to the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper that they "have to assume" some of their schoolchildren were aboard the plane.
14:46 The BBC warns that approaching snow and bad weather will make search and rescue operations difficult in the Alps on Tuesday:
— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) March 24, 2015
Bodies to be kept in an gym in Seyne-Les-Alpes
The emergency teams will be collecting bodies of victims and will be bringing it back to an emergency morgue set up at a gymnasium in the village of Seyne-Les-Alpes.
Germanwings crew did not send distress signal: aviation official: Initial reports said a distress signal had been sent by the plane's crew 45 minutes after take-off at 10.47am local time. But now civil aviation authorities reportedly say there was no contact with the aircraft before it disappeared and the signal was sent by concerned air traffic controllers. (via AFP)
First Video footage from Seyne-les-Alpes near the plane crash site
Plane Debris - Local French media say the debris of the crashed plane is scattered over two square kilometres, at an altitude of 2,000 metres. Debris from the plane, but not bodies, have been found in the villages of Verdaches, Le Vernet, Auzet and Seyne-les-Alpes per Le Figaro.(Via Neylân Gürel @NeyNeyse)
Angela Merkel offers condolences to families of the victim - Chancellor Angela Merkel is speaking live in Germany on the crash. She has sent her condolences to everyone affected and says the country is going through a very difficult time. German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly noted that "this is a time and an hour of great sorrow."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will travel to the site of the plane crash tomorrow
David Cameron offers suppport
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Twitter account @David_Cameron said: "Today's plane crash in the Alps is heartbreaking news. The UK will do everything it can to support the French emergency services."
Emergency units reach near the crash site. However, weather situation could further delay operations as snow and wind is expected soon.
15 Children among passengers
Some 15 of the victims oboard the crashed plane are German school students returning home after a student exchange trip with Catalonia's Giola Institute, a secondary school in Linars del Vallès, a staff member confirmed to The Local.
Alain Vidalies,the French transport minister, has said that no rescue workers had yet reached the scene on foot. But helicopters have flown over the crash scene and seen the wreckage of the aircraft with bodies scattered around it."
Germanwings Crash Eyewitness account
The owner of a campsite near the crash told the Associated Press he heard a series of loud noises in the air shortly before the Germanwings passenger plane crashed.
"There are often fighter jets flying over, so I thought it sounded just like that. I looked outside but I couldn't see any fighter planes," he said.
"The noise I heard was long - like 8 seconds - as if the plane was going more slowly than a military plane speed. There was another long noise about 30 seconds later."
He added that it will be difficult for emergency services to reach the crash site because conditions on the mountain are "snowy and very hostile".
The Airbus 320 plunged at a rate of 5,000 feet per minute before crashing. (via @PollyR_Aviation)
Lufthansa and Germanwings have launched hotline tollfree number - 0800 11 33 55 77 for the families of those onboard the crashed plane.
European Air Safety Agency has earlier issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive
A Daily Mail report noted that a safety warning was issued last year when a sister plane of the one involved in today's disaster suddenly lost altitude. It noted that the European Air Safety Agency (EASA) had issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive after an Airbus A321 after it into an uncontrollable dive north of Pamplona, Spain before pulling out.
According to the EASA, a safety system designed to protect the jet reacted to incorrect data due to a faulty sensor. The safety warning issued then was related to all Airbus A318, A319, A320 and A321 – including the Airbus A320 involved in today's disaster. (via Daily Mail)
Relatives of Flight 4U9525 passengers arrive at Dusseldorf airport where plane was due to land
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 24, 2015
Families of the Germanwings passengers have started arriving at the airport. For more information about the plane crash in France, please contact phone 913948900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Distress Call Log: Germanwings last contact with air traffic control was a distress call. The pilot's last message was - 'Emergency Emergency'
Images show emergency units planning recovery operations from Seyne-les-Alpes, near flight 4U9525 crash site
Turkish,German and Spanish citizens were onboard
Most the victims of the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash are said to be Germans. Spain has confirmed that there were 45 Spanish citizens onboard the doomed plane. King Felipe VI of Spain in a live message said that there were Turkish, German and Spanish passengers were on board the crashed plane. (via Daily Sabah)
Germanwings airline changes logo to black following plane crash
King of Spain and President of France now making a joint statement on flight 4U9525 crash
— AirLive.net (@airlivenet) March 24, 2015
Germanwings says 144 passengers and 6 crew on crashed plane
The toal number of people who were onboard the Germanwings Airbus A320 en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf has risen to 150.
Crash site inaccessible to ground vehicles
Hollande speaks to Merkel
French President Francois Hollande has "extended all his support" to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a phone call, the French presidency said in a statement, while the German ambassador to France said she would visit the crash site in the southern Alps within hours.
Police ask tourists to avoid crash site
French police are appealing to locals and tourists to avoid mountain roads near the crash site, which is near busy ski resorts in the Alps.
Germanwings Airbus A320 was flying at 'abnormal' height
French transport minister Alain Vidalies has said the plane was flying at an "abnormal" height when it lost contact. "There was a distress signal at 10.47am. It indicated that the aircraft was flying at 5,000 feet, which was abnormal. The crash occurred soon afterwards," Vidalies said.
Spain's Deputy PM says 45 on crashed plane believed to be Spanish
Some 45 people travelling on the Lufthansa operated Germanwings plane which crashed in a remote area of southern France on Tuesday had Spanish surnames, a spokesman for Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said.
"The deputy prime minister said there were 45 people on board with Spanish surnames," the spokesman said. (via Reuters)
— AirLive.net (@airlivenet) March 24, 2015
Germanwings Airbus A320 reportedly lost contact with air traffic control Germanwings 46 minutes after take off.
Germanwings to release statement
Germanwings,which is Lufthansa's budget airline is expected to hold a news conference at 2pm at Cologne Bonn airport.
First Images of the wreckage Germanwings Airbus A320 that emerged online are fake.
The images being posted online shows the scattered remains of the planes. Many looking at the pictures commented that there was 'nothing much' left of the plane.
Amateur Video shows debris from Flight 4U9525 crashing on roads near French Alps
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has called an emergency meeting
Crash site is located near popular skiing resorts:
The crash site is located near the Alpine town of Barcelonnette, which is surrounded by ski resorts including Pra-Loup, Sauze Super-Sauze and Sainte Anne.
Weather conditions were calm at the time of the crash, French weather reports.
— AirLive.net (@airlivenet) March 24, 2015
Rescue helicopter spots debris and bodies at crash site:
The helicopter flight allowed to see the wreckage of the aircraft and some bodies around the plane (Via @airlivenet)
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) December 7, 2014
Lufthansa Statement on Crash
- Lufthansa in official statement says: "We do not yet know what has happened to flight 4U 9525. My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew on 4U 9525. If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors."
Reaching the Flight 4U9525 Debri site could be delayed
- A resident of Prads-Haute-Bléone in southern France, described the plane crash location to @francetvinfo: "This is a difficult area to access. Only helicopters can go, or it takes several hours of walking, at least three."
- The aircraft can hold as many as 168 passengers, according to SeatGuru. Reports claim that there were 142 passengers and six crew members in the Germanwings A320.
- This is first major air crash involving plane of a low cost airline in Europe after 2008 crash of Spanair near Madrid Barajas. (via @TahirImran)
- The Airbus plane is operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airline
- The cause of the accident at present is unknown
- The plane issued a distress call at 10:47 am local time.
- Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, said debris from the plane had already been found.
- The crashed A320 is 24 years old and has been with the parent Lufthansa group since 1991
- The Airline operator is yet to confirm the accident.
INFO: We have recently become aware of media reports speculating on an incident though we still do not have any own confirmed information...
— Germanwings (@germanwings) March 24, 2015