Update: The plane's vertical height trajectory...
Moments ago, a Lufthansa Germanwings Airbus A320, flight 4U9525, on a Barcelona to Dusseldorf route, was reported to have crashed in the area of Digne, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in southern France, an area which French president Hollande said is "very difficult to access." According to Plane Finder, the Germanwings plane, callsign D-AIPX, was a 24 year old A320 and part of the Germanwings fleet. Germanwings is a low-cost affiliate of German airline Lufthansa, which was created in 1997. Tuesday's Airbus A320 crash has been the first accident in the history of Germanwings.
French Interior Minister is heading to the crash site, Le Monde reported. The information was also confirmed by the local authorities of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
According to initial press reports the plane had 142 passengers on board, with another 6 in the flight crew.
It appears the flight had sent out a distressed signal at 9:47 UTC, minutes before its final moments:
Plane Finder data shows the last known location of the airplane:
And the same from FlightRadar:
As Plane Finder also notes, below is the rate of descent of the flight in its last moments.
The weather conditions at the time of the crash were calm:
French president Hollande has added that it is unlikely there were any survivors in the crash.
#BREAKING No survivors expected in French Alps plane crash: Hollande— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) March 24, 2015
There is currently a French EC-135 flying above the crash site:
According to Sputnik.net, over 240 French firemen and 210 police officers are heading to the crash site. The flight was declared in distress at 10:47 local time near Barcelonnette, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
The wreckage of crashed Germanwings Airbus A320 is located at 6,500 feet in the mountains, the French Interior Ministry said.
This is the first plane crash on French soil since July 25, 2000 when Air France flight 4590 en route from Paris to New York City crashed in Paris suburbs, Gonesse. All 100 passengers and nine crewmembers on board the flight died.
Full coverage of the early news from AFP:
Lufthansa issued the following brief statement:
"We do not yet know what has happened to flight 4U 9525. My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew 1/2— Lufthansa (@lufthansa) March 24, 2015
"...on 4U 9525. If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors.“ Carsten Spohr 2/2— Lufthansa (@lufthansa) March 24, 2015
The Dusseldorf Airport website crashes: