DIGNE-LES-BAINS, France — A German jetliner en route from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany, plunged from the sky on Tuesday and slammed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
Helicopters and rescue personnel swarmed into the remote, rugged area in southeastern France after the crash but found no signs of life. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said none of the 144 passengers and six crew members survived.
The authorities and executives of the airline, the budget carrier Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, had no immediate explanation for the cause of the crash, which occurred just before 11 a.m. At a news conference Tuesday evening, Heike Birlenbach, the vice president of Lufthansa, said, “At this stage, we consider this to be an accident,” adding that everything else was speculation.
As night fell in the area, officials said they had recovered one of the jet’s so-called black boxes: the cockpit voice recorder, which captures up to two hours of the pilots’ conversations as well as other cockpit noises, including any alarms that would have sounded as the plane descended. A few hours later, they called off the search for the evening.