French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says a black box has been located at the site in the French Alps where a plane crashed while traveling from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.
Cazeneuve, speaking from the Alps region, said the black box had been located and would ultimately help in the investigation into the cause of the crash Tuesday.
It wasn't immediately clear if the box had been recovered.
A French Interior Ministry official says the black box has been recovered from the site in the French Alps where a plane carrying 150 people crashed.
The official, who was not authorized to speak about the crash publicly, confirmed to The Associated Press that the black box was in hand.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve earlier Tuesday said the black box had been located and would be handed to investigators in coming hours.
A Lufthansa vice-president says the company is treating the crash of a Germanwings jet in France that carried 150 people as an accident for "the time being."
Heike Birlenbach told reporters in Barcelona that for now "we say it is an accident. There is nothing more we can say right now."
She also said that the plane, bound for Duesseldorf in Germany, took off from Barcelona 30 minutes late Tuesday but did not know what caused the delay.
The Airbus A320 was inspected by Lufthansa's technical team on Monday.
Germanwings is a low-cost carrier owned by Lufthansa. (AP)
Raw footage of the crash site
Germany's top security official says there is no evidence at this stage that foul play was involved in the plane crash in southern France.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere tells reporters in Berlin that "according to the latest information there is no hard evidence that the crash was intentionally brought about by third parties."
He says authorities are investigating all possible causes for the crash of a Germanwings flight from Barcelona to Spain on Tuesday in which 144 passengers and six crew members died. (AP)
Germanwings CEO: Plane victims included 72 German citizens, 35 Spaniards, 2 Americans.
Here's a look at what is known about the nationalities from the company and from governments that have announced their citizens were aboard.
- 67 Germans, confirmed by Germanwings.
- Many Spaniards. The government says the passenger list included 45 people with Spanish last names but that it is still trying to confirm how many are Spanish citizens.
- 3 Kazakhs, confirmed by the government
- 3 British, confirmed by the government, which says it cannot rule out that there may be more.
- 2 Japanese, confirmed by the government
- 2 Colombians, confirmed by the government.
- 2 Australians, confirmed by the government
- 1 Dutch, confirmed by the government.
- 1 Dane, confirmed by the government.
- 1 Turk, confirmed by the government.
- 1 Israeli, confirmed by the government.
- 1 Mexican was probably aboard but the government says it is still trying to confirm the information. (AP)
Three generations of one family — a schoolgirl, her mother and grandmother — were on the Germanwings plane that crashed, according to a town outside Barcelona.
A statement from Sant Cugat del Valles town hall didn't provide their names.
The girl was a student of a middle school for children aged 10 to 11 at Santa Isabel school in Sant Cugat.
"The students are very affected. The teachers are trying to help them any way they can," said a woman who answered the phone at the school. She refused to give her name or comment further. (AP)
U.S. President Barack Obama has called Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to express his condolences following the crash of the Germanwings plane in which at least 35 Spaniards died.
Obama conveyed "his condolences and those of the American people to Spain and to the families lost on the flight," the U.S. Embassy in Madrid said. Obama also offered assistance from American officials.
Speaking in Parliament, British Prime Minister David Cameron also offered condolences on Tuesday's crash that killed 150.
"It is heartbreaking to hear about the schoolchildren, the babies, the families whose lives have been brought to an end," he said.
The British government believes three British nationals died, and is checking to see if there might have been more. (AP)
The leaders of Germany, France and Spain are gathering in the French Alps near the site of a German budget airlines crash to pay homage to the 150 victims.
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived on a helicopter Wednesday on a mountain meadow whipped by strong winds. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also joined them at the scene, in the town of Seynes-les-Alpes.
Most of the passengers on the Barcelona-Duesseldorf flight Tuesday were German and Spanish, though people of many other nationalities were also aboard.
Hollande praised all the rescue workers who have been trying to retrieve debris and bodies from the hard-to-reach site. (AP)
Britain's Foreign Office identified three British victims:
-Marina Bandres Lopez-Belio, 37, and her son Julian, 7 months.
-Paul Andrew Bramley, 28.
Lopez-Belio's husband, Pawel Pracz of Manchester, England, said his wife and son had travelled to Spain for a family funeral.
"She bought the tickets at the last moment, and decided to return to Manchester quickly as she wanted to return to her daily routine as soon as possible," he said.
He was with family in Manchester, and in close contact with family in Spain.
"We are devastated and would like to request that we be allowed to grieve in peace as a family without intrusion at this difficult time," according to a Foreign Office statement issued on Pracz's behalf.
Bramley was studying hospitality and hotel management at Ceasar Ritz College in Lucerne and about to start an internship on April 1. He was flying back to Britain via Dusseldorf to meet with his mother.
"Paul was a kind, caring and loving son," his mother, Carol Bramley said in a statement. "He was the best son, he was my world." (AP)
Investigators will use the cockpit voice and flight data recorders to map out and focus their work, says Alan E. Diehl, a former air safety investigator.
"Both will point you in directions of what is critical," Diehl says. "Based on what you learn from the recorders, you might focus on key pieces of wreckage."
The four possible causes of any crash are human error, mechanical problems, weather, criminal activity or a combination of two or more. Diehl says investigators will work backward, starting by eliminating what didn't happen.
"You're usually dealing with a jigsaw puzzle with many of the pieces missing," he says. "You start eliminating things that didn't happen." (AP)
French President Francois Hollande says the case of the second black box has been found, but not its contents.
Speaking alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Hollande promised on Wednesday that French investigators would do everything to determine the cause of the crash.
The missing black box was the flight data recorder, which captures 25 hours' worth of information on the position and condition of almost every major part in a plane.
Hollande also said there could be no rescue because it was certain that all 150 people aboard the plane had perished in Tuesday's crash in the southern French Alps. (AP)
The director of France's aviation investigative agency says there currently is not the "slightest explanation" for what caused the Germanwings plane to lose altitude and crash in the Alps.
Remi Jouty says the investigation could take weeks or even months.
Jouty says the plane was flying "until the end" - slamming into the mountain, not breaking up in the air.
He says the final communication from the plane was a routine message about permission to continue on its route. (AP)
The U.S. State Department says a third American has been identified as a victim of the plane crash in France that killed a total of 150 people.
The department said it is in contact with the victim's next of kin but is not releasing the name out of respect for the family.
A person close to the family earlier said American Yvonne Selke and her daughter Emily Selke were also among the victims. (AP)