A plane crashed in the southern French Alps with 144 passengers, including 2 babies, and 6 crew members on board Tuesday morning.
Search-and-rescue teams were sent out when wreckage was spotted shortly after the crash in a snow-covered, remote area of the mountains at around 6,500 feet. The wreckage of the crash site spans over a mile and is currently being searched, but the aircraft was pulverized and the violence of the crash leaves little hope for finding any survivors from the Airbus A320, operated by German carrier Lufthansa’s budget airline, Germanwings. It will take days to recover bodies from the crash site because of difficult terrain.
The Germanwings flight 4U9525 was 44 minutes into its flight in clear weather on route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when, at 10:31am, it dropped rapidly from a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet to around 6,800 feet in 8 minutes over the town of Barcelonnette in the Alpes de Huate Provence region. No distress call was made during the flight’s rapid descent, The Telegraph confirmed, which some are speculating that it could have been because of oxygen starvation because of the sudden loss of altitude but the cause of the crash is still currently unknown.
A group of 16 teenagers that were in 10th grade and 2 teachers from the Joseph-Koenig Gymnasium high school in the town of Haltern in Germany were returning from a week-long exchange trip in Spain are confirmed to be among the passengers thought to have been killed in the plane crash.
It was the first crash of a large passenger jet on French soil since the Concorde disaster just outside Paris nearly 15 years ago, according to CBC. The Airbus A320 is the world’s most used passenger jets and have a good though not perfect safety record.