Dark Day for Lufthansa;' 150 Feared Dead After Germanwings Airbus Crashes in French Alps
In an earlier Reuters report, French President Francois Hollande, said there were 148 people on board the Airbus and there appeared to be no survivors. Lufthansa later confirm the number of people on the carrier to be 150.
"There were 148 people on board. The conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, lead us to think there are no survivors," said Hollande.
In a statement released via Lufthansa's Twitter account the company's chief executive Carsten Spohr said if those fears are confirmed it will be a "dark day for Lufthansa."
"We do not yet know what has happened to flight 4U 9525. My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew on 4U 9525. If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors," said Spohr.
Shortly after that, the worst was confirmed.
"We must confirm to our deepest regret that Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf has suffered an accident over the French Alps. The flight was being operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft, and was carrying 144 passengers and six crew members," said the statement.
"Lufthansa and Germanwings have established a telephone hotline. The toll-free 0800 11 33 55 77 number is available to all the families of the passengers involved for care and assistance," it continued.
"Everyone at Germanwings and Lufthansa is deeply shocked and saddened by these events. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew members," it ended.
French officials told Reuters that the plane issued a distress call at 0947 GMT, some 52 minutes after take-off.
The flight was traveling from Barcelona to Duesseldorf and Hollande explained that a significant number of Germans were likely to be on it.
According to CNN, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that he's been in contact with his French counterpart and "we will cooperate closely."
"I already want to thank the French government, which has acted immediately and prudently," said Steinmeier. "In these difficult hours, our thoughts are with those who have to fear that their close ones are among the passengers and crew."