Germanwings plane crash in French Alps kills 150

(AGI) Rome, March 24 - A Germanwings plane carrying 150 peoplehas crashed in the French Alps on its way from Barcelona toDusseldorf. One of the plane's flight recorders has been foundamong the wreckage and lifeless bodies of flight 4U9525. The Airbus A320 took off at 10:01 a.m. after a 26 minute delay.The plane suddenly began descending after reaching its cruisingheight of 1,800 meters. Contact with the control tower wasinterrupted at 10:53 a.m. Controllers on the ground said theysent out a distress signal after losing radio contact with theAirbus, but the airline has

(AGI) Rome, March 24 - A Germanwings plane carrying 150 peoplehas crashed in the French Alps on its way from Barcelona toDusseldorf. One of the plane's flight recorders has been foundamong the wreckage and lifeless bodies of flight 4U9525. The Airbus A320 took off at 10:01 a.m. after a 26 minute delay.The plane suddenly began descending after reaching its cruisingheight of 1,800 meters. Contact with the control tower wasinterrupted at 10:53 a.m. Controllers on the ground said theysent out a distress signal after losing radio contact with theAirbus, but the airline has not confirmed this. Germanwingssaid that the control tower has released "contradictory"information about this. The plane's on-board computers had beenreplaced with the latest model and the most recent in-depthinspection was carried out in the summer of 2013. The Airbuswas 24 years old, but passed the inspection. The pilot had 10years of experience with Lufthansa and Germanwings, with over6,000 hours of flight. On Monday, the plane was kept on theground due to a technical problem with a cargo door. But thatproblem was completely resolved, a spokesman for the companyexplained. The plane disappeared from radar at 11:15 a.m. whileflying over the French Alps near Barcelonette. Air trafficmonitoring site AirlLive.net confirmed that the Airbus followedexactly the same flight path as it did on Monday, disprovingreports that the aircraft had followed an abnormal route. Thewreckage has been located on the Estrop massif, in the Digneregion, at an altitude of 2,700 metres. The list ofpassengers included 45 Spanish surnames. German ChancellorAngela Merkel said there were 67 German citizens on board,including 16 high-school students and 2 teachers who werereturning from Llinars de Valles, where the students had spenta week for a cultural exchange. The victims also included 39Turkish, a Dutch and a Belgian citizen. Two of the victims werebabies. The Israeli Government is verifying the possibilitythat there was also an Israeli national on the crashed flight. Rescue workers have arrived at the crash site. In theevening, helicopters were unable to fly in the area due to badweather. "There are no survivors," said French Premier ManuelValls, after chief rescue worker David Galtier had said amoving body had been spotted. . .