142 feared dead in Airbus crash in French Alps

Posted at 7:16 AM, Mar 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-24 07:16:23-04

(CNN) — An Airbus A320 plane operated by Germanwings crashed Tuesday in southeastern France near Digne les Bains, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.

He said he fears those aboard — 142 passengers and eight crew members — may be dead. The plane was headed from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany.

French President Francois Hollande, in a news conference broadcast on BFMTV, said there were 148 people on board. “The conditions of the accident are not yet clear but lead us to believe there will be no survivors,” he said. He expressed his condolences for the families of the victims.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is going directly to the crash scene, Hollande said.

The flight had disappeared from Lyon airport radar, Capt. Benoit Zeisser of the Digne Gendarmerie — police in the region of the crash — told CNN. The crash site is in the area of Prads-Haute-Bléone, and a police helicopter is there, he said. It is difficult terrain to access.