French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has released a statement saying that the black box of Germanwings A320, which crashed Tuesday, had been found. Aviation authorities will check the black box and the recorded data. Cazeneuve also stated that the accident killed all 144 passengers and six crew members. Investigator Bruce Robin said they had found the location of the wreckage around the French Alps.
The Airbus A320 climbed to an altitude of 38,000 feet before quickly swooping. Germanwings management stated the plane began to lose altitude approximately one minute after reaching cruise altitude. The Airbus descended very quickly from cruise altitude with a speed between 3,000 to 4,000 feet per minute, a standard speed to land. Radio contact from the pilot was lost when the airplane reached an altitude of 6,000 feet at 10:53 a.m. local time. The airplane was rapidly descending for eight minutes before communications were lost. Initial reports had said an emergency call came from the plane at 10:47 a.m. local time.
Six crew members and 144 passengers were on the plane. A total of 67 passengers were believed to be German citizens who were returning from their vacation in Spain. There were also 16 students and two teachers who from a student exchange program. Meanwhile, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said 45 Spanish citizens were on the ill-fated plane while the remaining passengers were believed to be Turkish. In total, there were 12 nationalities on the plane.