An Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps today with an estimated 144 passengers and six crew aboard, French media are reporting. The plane, operated by Lufthansa budget carrier Germanwings, was en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf; debris has been spotted near Digne, notes NBC News. Germanwings confirmed the crash of Flight 4U 9525, notes the AP; "We are endlessly sorry for what has happened," says a rep. French President Francois Hollande, speaking on television, said that the area around the crash is very difficult to access and that there are likely "no survivors," adds the AP. The latest, per the Guardian and the AP:
- France's Interior and Transport ministries confirm the plane sent out a distress signal at 10:47am local time; it was "at 5,000 feet and in an abnormal situation," says the Transport minister. The plane vanished from the radar around 11:20am.
- Hollande said those aboard are likely mostly from Spain, Germany, and Turkey, per the BBC. "All I can tell you is that obviously I’m very sad, as many are, about this very dramatic accident," said Spain's PM Mariano Rajoy. "We’re going to do everything in our power to help, to help the families, to give them our support."
- "My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew on 4U 9525," said Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr. "If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors."
- AirLive has a photo of the crash area taken from a helicopter.
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