A passenger jet carrying 150 people owned by Lufthansa’s budget airline, Germanwings, crashed in a mountainous region in southern France on Tuesday morning, with French authorities reporting no survivors.
“The circumstances of the crash have not yet been clarified but it seems no one has survived it,” French President François Hollande said.
By nightfall the plane’s black box had been found and handed over to investigators. Hundreds of firefighters, soldiers and emergency workers continued to search among the wreckage. The remote area and deteriorating weather conditions mean it is likely to take days for the bodies to be recovered, according to the French authorities.
About 67 German nationals were on board, according to a preliminary count, Germanwings chief executive Thomas Winkelmann told reporters. Spain’s deputy prime minister said that 45 of the passengers had Spanish names.
Two teachers and 16 school children from Haltern am See’s Joseph-König Gymnasium high school were among those killed, according to local paper Halterner Zeitung in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.