FRANCE

Germanwings Airbus 320 Crashes In Southern France

Mar 24, 2015 at 9:09 AM ET

An Airbus A320 with 150 people aboard (including six crew) crashed Tuesday in Southern France. All occupants were killed in the crash, according to French President Francois Hollande. The plane, Germanwings Flight 4U9525, was traveling from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when it crashed near a town called Méolans-Revel in the Alpes de Haute-Provence, France.

The plane descended for eight minutes before crashing, an official said, and it reportedly did not send out a distress signal. The cause of the crash is unknown. Gilbert Sauvan, a local council official, told the newspaper Les Echos that the plane had “disintegrated.”

Among the people on the plane were 16 German schoolchildren, according to the BBC.

According to this chart of plane crashes involving passenger fatalities for selected airliner models, the Airbus 320 has a rate of only eight fatal crashes per 100 million flights. Lufthansa, the airline that owns Germanwings, tweeted Tuesday morning they did not yet know what caused the crash. According to flight data, the plane had just settled at a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet, when at 05.30 ET it began to lose altitude, before hitting the ground eight minutes later. It was traveling at 480mph when it hit the ground, according to Flightaware data.

Lufthansa, the parent company, tweeted a confirmation that all onboard were killed. Germanwings employees Tuesday morning began changing their Facebook profile pictures to a black ribbon in memory of those lost in the crash:

Read More:

New video of Germanwings plane crash site (CNN)
Why Do Birds Keep Crashing Into Cars And Planes? (Vocativ)
Germanwings plane black box found as investigators reach crash site (The Guardian)