Slate will post running news updates about the crash of Flight 4U 9525 below.
Update, 11:15 a.m.: The latest reports say that 150 individuals were aboard Germanwings 4U 9525 when it crashed in the Alps, likely killing all passengers and crew. Some 67 Germans and 45 Spanish citizens are thought to have been killed; no Americans are believed to have been aboard. AFP is reporting that, contra earlier reports, the plane’s crew did not send a distress signal before the crash; rather, air traffic control officials declared the plane to be in distress after contact with its crew was lost. Recovery operations are expected to take several days because the area of the crash is remote and covers terrain that is difficult to traverse.
Original post, 8:54 a.m.: At least 148 passengers and crew members aboard a Germanwings airline flight are feared dead after a crash in the French Alps just after 10:47 a.m. local time (5:47 a.m. ET). The Lufthansa-owned company’s flight 4U 9525 was over 50 minutes into a route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when it crashed near Digne-les-Bains in southeastern France, French prime minister Manuel Valls says. The New York Times reports that the crash site is near the town of Prads-Haute-Bléone.
CNN says the plane, an Airbus A320, dropped 14,000 feet in six minutes and made a distress call before crashing.
The incident is the first commercial passenger crash on French soil since 2000.