GERMANY (MEDIA GENERAL) – “I’m concerned with the depths of suffering being brought to so many people,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel following a plane crash with 150 people on board. The Germanwings passenger jet was going from Barcelona to Duesseldorf when it crashed in the French Alps.
During her brief address to the public, Chancellor Merkel said she had already been in touch with the leaders of France and Spain. They have all agreed to help each other in any way as rescue and recovery efforts are underway to the remote, snow-covered region. France’s president has warned no survivors are expected.
“My thoughts are with those who have lost somebody. This suffering is incredible for the families,” said Merkel.
The German Foreign Ministry has started a crisis center to conduct operations and Chancellor Merkel said she will visit the crash site tomorrow.
She concluded saying, “We all mourn. We have to think of the victims, the families and their friends.”
There was no obvious weather reason Tuesday why the plane went down. Capt. Benoit Zeisser of the nearby Digne-le-Bains police said there were some clouds but the cloud ceiling was not low.
In addition, the safest part of a flight is when the plane is at cruising elevation. Just 10 percent of fatal accidents occur at that point, according to a safety analysis by Boeing. The A320 family also has a good safety record, with just 0.14 fatal accidents per million takeoffs, according to a Boeing safety analysis.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story)