German Jet Crashes in The Alps, Killing More Then 150 Passengers and Six Crews

Early Tuesday a German A320 Airbushas crashed in the Alps in southern France, killing more then 150 passengers and six crews, according to news agencies.The Germanwings flight was travelling from Barcelona in Spain to Duesseldorf in Germany. The plane was 44 minutes into its flight in relatively clear weather when it dropped from a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet to around 6,800 feet over the town of Barcelonnette, Fox News said. “The eight-minute descent was described as unusually rapid, but possibly controlled though it left the plane too low to navigate the mountains”.

The cause of the crash is not yet known, however, search teams found a “black box” from the plane, providing the first possible clue as to what caused the Dusseldorf-bound aircraft to suddenly lose altitude and crash.

About a dozen specially trained mountain police were guarding the site in southeastern France. Police said search teams would stay overnight at altitude.

“We are still searching. It’s unlikely any bodies will be airlifted until Wednesday,” regional police chief David Galtier told Reuters.

Among the crash victims were 16 children and two teachers from the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium high school in the town of Haltern am See in northwest Germany,according to Sky News.The students were part of an exchange program in Spain.

Two opera singers were also aboard the flight.A contralto Maria Radner was returning to Germany with her husband and baby after performing in Wagner’s “Siegfried,” according to Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu.

The airline believed there were 67 Germans on the flight. Spain’s deputy prime minister said 45 passengers had Spanish names. One Belgian was aboard.

Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr, who planned to go to the crash site, spoke of a “dark day for Lufthansa.”

“My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew,” Lufthansa said on Twitter, citing Spohr. Germanwings is a budget airline subsidiary of the German-based airline Lufthansa.

French President Francois Hollande called the crash “a tragedy on our soil.” Hollande offered condolences to the families of the victims, and said he had established a crisis center to work with the Spanish and German governments, and the victims’ families.

The White House said there was no indication that the crash was linked to terrorism.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki offered condolences to the families of the 150 people aboard the Germanwings flight.

“We are reviewing whether any U.S. citizens were aboard the flight. The United States stands ready to offer assistance and support to the governments of France, Germany and Spain as they investigate this tragedy,” Psaki’s statement said.

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