Airbus plane operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings low cost airline crashed in southern France on Tuesday en route from Barcelona to Düsseldorf, police and aviation officials said. All 150 on board are feared dead.
A total of 144 passengers and six crew members were on the plane, Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann said.
No citizens of Republic of Turkey have been confirmed among the passengers in the crash. 67 German nationals are thought to be on board, while Spain said 45 people with Spanish sounding names were on the flight.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry released a statement on Tuesday, saying a passenger of Turkish origin holding German citizenship was on the Germanwings plane, and denounced the news reports claiming 39 Turkish passengers were on board. It was earlier reported by sources that passengers with Turkish surnames, without Turkish citizenship, were on the passenger list. A 50 year-old woman named Muradiye Çelik was reported among the victims of the crash by various reports.
There is reason to believe 16 schoolchildren and two teachers from the German town of Haltern am Seewere were among the passengers of the crashed Airbus A320, according to a spokeswoman for the town. The Joseph Koenig High School in the western Germany of Haltern has been closed and a crisis team that includes chaplains established. Flowers were being lain outside the school.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Tuesday that the plane's black box has been found. He said, 300 soldiers and 350 firefighters have been deployed to assist local search and rescue at the site of the plane crash in the French Alps. He added that 10 helicopters and a military plane have been deployed, and that the soldiers have special expertise in mountains missions.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he understood between 142 and 150 people were on board and feared dead.
School officials posted online that the students and teachers had spent one week in Barcelona on a school exchange program.
None of the people aboard the crashed plane survived, according to France's junior transport minister. "There are no survivors," Alain Vidalies said, adding that the crash happened shortly after the pilot issued a distress signal in good weather.
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