An Airbus A320 Germanwings company crashed, Tuesday, March 24, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the region Digne-les-Bains, according to the police and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The plane of the German airline low cost, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, linking Barcelona to Düsseldorf. It was carrying 144 passengers and 6 crew members .
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The aircraft took off from Barcelona at 10 am and was scheduled to land at 11 h 55 in Düsseldorf. It crashed on the territory of the municipality of Meolans Revel, in Matignon, in the massif of Three Dioceses.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which had indicated in first that the flight was declared in distress at 10 am 47, is back on his words. “The crew did not issue a” mayday “. This is the air traffic control that has decided to declare the aircraft in distress because he had no contact with the crew and the aircraft “, has she said.
According to the spokesman for Germanwings, the aircraft dropped over 8 minutes. Contact was lost 53 to 10 hours.
Debris was found in Barcelonnette area where significant emergency resources are mobilized. “This is an area that is snowy, inaccessible by vehicles, but that could be flown by helicopters” , said Secretary of State for Transport, Alain Vidal.
The Secretary of State for Transport has confirmed, “There are no survivors,” . Hollande had advanced earlier in a speech “ he [was] likely that there is a lot of German victims” . Spaniards and Turks were also in the plane, according to the head of state, “a priori” , there would be no French.
According to Germanwings airline, 67 Germans were aboard the aircraft. Included among them were 16 students and 2 teachers of King Joseph High School in the city of Haltern, a town in North-Rhine.
The Vice-President of the Spanish Government, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria , for his part, reported “45 passengers [who] wore surnames” Hispanic in the edge list
Read also:. The third deadliest crash in French history
According to François Hollande, the accident occurred in a particularly difficult area to access and relief will only be made in a few hours. The National Gendarmerie asked the public not to attempt to approach the accident area to avoid cluttering the roads.
- Weather clement, the Track the attack unlikely
Manuel Valls said before the National Assembly that “at this stage, no assumption can be excluded “ in the crash. The “collective accident pole” of the Marseille prosecutor took up the investigation. Investigators from the Investigation and Analysis Bureau (BEA) for the safety of civil aviation are also on site to analyze the situation.
According to the latest information from Météo France weather conditions were “particularly quiet at the time of the crash” . The weather was dry and the sky completely clear all morning with little wind or no. Weather France adds that “dangerous clouds like cumulonimbus were not present” . The only areas affected by rains and storms were the Gulf of Lion and the Mediterranean, the plane had flown in the early morning.
The weather operator also indicated that at the time of accident the “situation was rather quiet in altitude” that “there was no cloud in the aircraft cruising altitude” . “The winds southwest sector were mild to moderate” and there was no ‘turbulence’ at flight level of the unit.
Read: Weather conditions were “particularly quiet”
According to the news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur, the German government has no evidence that an attack could be the cause of the disaster. The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said not to be able to comment on the accident.
- An aircraft in service since 1991
The plane that crashed in the Alps was an Airbus A320, an aircraft model extremely common for short and medium-haul flights.
The model that crashed was commissioned in 1991 by the German airline Lufthansa. So it was a relatively old model (the first models were commissioned at the end of the 1980s). He was flying in the colors of Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, since the end of January.
According to the spokesman of Germanwings group, the last routine inspection was conducted Monday at Düsseldorf. He also indicated that the computers had recently been changed on this plane, and had “the most modern software.”
The pilot was in turn used for ten years Lufthansa and Germanwings. He had accumulated a total of 6,000 flight hours.
Read also: Crash A320: Germanwings, the low cost subsidiary of Lufthansa
- A cell of open crisis in France, Germany and Spain
The Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, announced “the activation of the interministerial crisis “. In Spain, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has also set up a crisis cabinet, while a room was opened in Barcelona airport terminal to accommodate the families of victims. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also announced the opening of a crisis.
The interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, the Minister for Ecology, Segolene Royal, the Transport Minister, Alain Vidal, will visit the scene of the accident. Ambassador of Germany in France, Susanne Wasum-Rainer and the German Minister of Transport, Alexander Dobrindt, will accompany. Angela Merkel is expected Wednesday.
This is the first crash of an airliner on French soil since the Concorde accident in Gonesse, near Roissy in July 2000.