The French Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed that 150 people were on board the plane, which includes 144 passengers and six crew members. The Germanwings plane was bound for Dusseldorf after taking off from Barcelona.
Tuesday, March 24
Watch footage from Dusseldorf airport after 144 passengers and six crewmembers died in a plane crash in the French Alps
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror)
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says a helicopter managed to land near the crash site, but no survivors were found. Gilbert Sauvan, from the local council told the Les Echos newspaper that“the plane has disintegrated” He also added that the “largest debris is the size of a car,” AP report.
There is a lot of uncertainty concerning whether a distress signal was sent by the aircraft. The French Aviation Authority are now saying that the Germanwings plane did not issue a distress call.
However, air traffic controllers declared there was a distress phase, which is a situation where there is a reasonable certainty that an aircraft and its occupants are threatened by grave and imminent danger or require immediate assistance.
Germanwings has released a telephone number for the families of passengers who were on board the aircraft.
Lufthansa and Germanwings have established a telephone hotline. The toll-free 0 77 number is available to all the families 3/5
— Germanwings (@germanwings)
Germanwings say they are not aware of any complications during the descent of the aircraft. The company added that it started descending one minute after reaching its cruising height and continued to lose altitude for eight minutes, before finally crashing.
“The aircraft’s contact with French radar, French air traffic controllers ended at 10.53 am at an altitude of about 6,000 feet. The plane then crashed,” Germanwings’ Managing Director Thomas Winkelmann said.
Germanwings have stated they believe 67 German nationals were on board the plane. The company has refused to name all the nationalities that were travelling on the aircraft. Earlier, the Deputy Spanish Prime Minister announced 45 Spaniards could be amongst the dead.
Thomas Winkelmann, a spokesman of Germanwings management board, also added that the pilot who was flying the aircraft had more than 6,000 hours experience flying the A320 aicraft.