BBC Latest UPDATES: Germanwings flight crashes in France

  • BBC Live Reporting

    By Josephine McDermott, Caroline McClatchey, Paul Blake and Thom Poole

    All times stated are UK

    Students have attended mass in Llinars del Valles, the Spanish town where a group of German teenagers on board the Germanwings flight had been visiting as part of an exchange programme.

    Students attend a mass in Llinars del Valles, the town where German exchange student victims of the Germanwings plane crash attended school
  • Australian victims

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    Two Australians – a woman and her adult son – were on board the Germanwings flight, the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this shocking tragedy,” she said, adding it would be inappropriate to give further details at the present time.

  • Police guard

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    A rescue official says about 10 police officers will spend the night at the crash site to guard it. Lt Col Jean-Marc Meninchini of the regional police rescue service said search operations will resume at daybreak. He said the recovery operation is expected to last a week.

  • Books of condolence

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    Books of condolence are ready to sign at a sports hall in the south-eastern French village of Seyne-les-Alpes, which has become the hub for all the rescue teams and accident investigators.

    Books of condolences are ready to sign at a sports hall in Seyne-les-Alpes, south-east France
  • Tom Burridge

    Tom Burridge

    BBC News, Barcelona

    ‘Symbol of unity’

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    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the Catalan president of this region, Barcelona being the capital, will travel together to the crash site tomorrow. Two politicians, who are poles apart on so many issues, travelling together with be a symbol of unity.

  • ‘Little remained’

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    Stephane Duclet, a journalist with French newspaper La Provence, has flown over the crash site.

    “From what we were able to see, we had great difficulty in actually locating the plane because very little of it remained. Looking from above, not even the fuselage was intact. All we could make out was small parts.”

  • Chris Fawkes

    BBC Weather

    Fresh snowfall tomorrow

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    An area of low pressure will bring fairly strong winds at altitude and also some fresh snowfall to the southern French Alps. The snow could hamper the recovery operation. Some lowering cloud bases and some poor visibility over the mountain tops could affect the safe operation of the recovery helicopters.

    Weather forecast for tomorrow
  • Opera singers

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    Earlier, an opera house in Duesseldorf said bass baritone Oleg Bryjak was on the plane. Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu said Maria Radner, like Mr Bryjak, had performed in its production of Richard Wagner’s Siegfried.

  • Debris pictures

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    Here are a pictures from video taken by news agency AFP, showing the crash site and search and rescue teams:

    A screen grab taken from AFP video shows search and rescue personnel at the Germanwings crash site in the French Alps
    Search and rescue teams being lowered from a helicopter to the crash scene
    A screen grab taken from AFP video shows debris at the Germanwings crash site in the French Alps
  • Alex Capstick

    BBC News, Seyne-les-Alpes

    Crash site security

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    Helicopters have stopped flying to the remote crash site. Military personnel are camping there overnight to secure the site.

  • Search halted

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    The search has been called off for this evening and will resume “at first light” says Pierre-Henri Brandet, spokesman for the French interior ministry in Seyne-les-Alpes.

  • Second opera singer on plane

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    A Spanish opera house says a second singer, German contralto Maria Radner along with her husband and baby, were among the 150 passengers feared dead.

  • Sofia Bettiza

    BBC News, Duesseldorf

    ‘Unfit to fly’

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    A Lufthansa spokesperson has said: “We had to cancel seven Germanwings flights departing from Duesseldorf today because of difficulties with crew members. They told us they felt unfit to fly.”

  • ‘Horror picture’

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    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the crash site is “a picture of horror”. After being flown over the area and briefed by French authorities, he said: “The grief of the families and friends is immeasurable. We must now stand together.

    Debris lies on the mountain slopes after the crash of the Germanwings plane over the French Alps

    “We are united in our great grief.”

  • Katya Adler

    Katya Adler

    Europe editor

    Church service

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    The church in Haltern was packed, candlelit and filled with pain.

    The priest read out the names of the 16 teenage boys and girls who died today. On behalf of this shocked community he called out the question “Why?”. The service was open-ended.

    Families and friends are invited to stay all night if they want to light candles and try to find some comfort.

    The church in Haltern
  • Football tribute

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    Germany’s national football team will play with black armbands when it takes on Australia in a friendly on Wednesday. There will also be a minute’s silence before kick-off.

  • Obama offers condolences

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    Speaking before a joint press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the White House, President Obama said “our thoughts and our prayers are with our friends in Europe”.

    “It’s particularly heartbreaking because it apparently includes the loss of so many children, some of them infants,” he said.

    American officials are working to confirm how many US citizens may have been on board, he added.

  • Candles outside school

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    Sixteen German teenagers and two teachers were among the passengers. The group, from Joseph-Koenig school in Haltern, western Germany, were returning from a Spanish exchange programme.

    A memorial of flowers and candles in front of the Joseph Koenig secondary school
  • Track record

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    Until today, Germanwings had recorded no accidents involving fatalities since it was founded in 2002, Associated Press reports.

    Germany’s Spiegel magazine has reported an incident from 2010, when two pilots nearly passed out as they landed in Cologne. The magazine said contaminated cabin air was suspected.