The Germanwings Airbus A320 airplane crashed in the French Alps en route from Spain to Germany on Tuesday, with 150 people on board. At least 67 German nationals were on board, officials said and a group of 16 German exchange students who were returning from a visit to a school near Barcelona. The plane went down near the village of Digne-Les-Bains. All passengers are believed to be dead. The cause of the crash is unknown.
Minutes before the crash the plane lost its signal to air traffic control at an altitude of approximately 6,000 feet. There’s no indication that the crash was terrorist related. President Barack Obama offered condolences to the families and friends of the victims. He said “Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Europe, especially the people of Germany and Spain. It’s particularly heartbreaking because it apparently includes the loss of so many children.”
According to officials, the A320 had its last routine safety check on March 23 in Düsseldorf and the pilot of the aircraft had been flying for Germanwings for more than 10 years. Bruce “Buck” Rodger, president of Aero Consulting Experts told news outlets “The rapid descent of the plane could mean the plane lost its cabin pressure and had to get to a lower altitude quickly to keep passengers safe”
Officials believe they will determine the cause of the crash very soon.