France’s President Hollande: ‘No Survivors’ in Germanwings Crash
French President François Hollande announced Tuesday that there were no survivors in the crash of Germanwings flight 4U9525, which went down that morning in a remote area of the Alps in southern France.
Acknowledging that the tragedy had taken place within his country’s borders, Hollande noted the need to mourn and said the victims had not yet been formally identified.
All 144 passengers and six crew members on board the airplane are reported to have perished, and specialized crews were sent to recover bodies and look for clues in the aftermath of the accident.
The plane departed Barcelona, Spain, at 8:55 a.m. and was en route to Dusseldorf, Germany, when the crash occurred. No technical problems had been detected before takeoff, as The Guardian reported:
The dead are believed to include 45 Spanish and 67 German nationals. A school party of 16 German teenagers returning from an exchange trip to Spain were booked on the plane but school officials could not say if the group had boarded.
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who said she would travel to the crash site on Wednesday, said the crash had plunged Germany, France and Spain into “deep mourning”.
Spain’s King Felipe VI said he was cancelling his state visit to France to return to Spain. The country’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, also spoke briefly to the press. “We’re facing a dramatic and very sad accident,” he said. “We’re going to do everything in our power to help, to help the families and give them our support.”
In the video below, Hollande expresses sympathy for the victims’ families (via The Guardian):
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