A flight from Germanwings, a low-cost subsidiary of Lufthansa, has crashed in the French Alps while en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, USA Today reports. French President Francois Hollande has said that there aren't likely to be any survivors from the 150 passengers and crew onboard.
Airline CEO Thomas Winkelmann told USA Today that Germanwings Flight 9525 left Spain at 9:55 am local time, about 20 minutes late. The aircraft, an Airbus A320, dropped out of contact at 10:53 am.
"All employees of Germanwings and Lufthansa are deeply saddened," Winkelmann said. "Their thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew."
The aircraft sent out a distress call about 52 minutes after takeoff, Euronews said. According to unofficial website tracking data, the plane descended sharply from its cruising height, although not as quickly as a plan that had lost control would have. Third-party data, however, is limited, and full details on the accident will not be available until investigators have time to review the plane's black box.
"There is no indication of a nexus to terrorism at this time," National Security Council Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The crash site was Meolans Revels, near the ski resort of Pra Loup and 430 miles south-southeast of Paris. The mountainous nature of the area will impede access to the crash site.
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