Plane Crashes in French Alps; 150 Feared Dead
PARIS (AP) — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says a helicopter has managed to land near where a passenger plane carrying 150 people crashed in the Alps, and has found there were no survivors.
The weather in the area deteriorated Tuesday afternoon, with a chilly rain falling.
Gilbert Sauvan, of the local council, told Les Echos newspaper, "The plane is disintegrated."
"The largest debris is the size of a car," he added.
The Germanwings Airbus 320 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, Germany, came down in the mountains on Tuesday morning after an eight-minute descent from its cruising height. Officials said they are still establishing whether there was a distress call.
The owner of a French Alpine camping ground says he heard a series of loud noises in the air before the plane crashed. He said, "There are often fighter jets flying over, so I thought it sounded just like that. I looked outside but I couldn't see any fighter planes."
Pierre Polizzi says the noise he heard "was long - like 8 seconds - as if the plane was going more slowly than a military plane speed. There was another long noise about 30 seconds later."
No survivors are expected in the crash of the plane that was traveling from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, Germany.