Featured image: Wikimedia Commons
On Tuesday March 24, 2015, at around 10:50 AM (Central European Time Zone)/ 4:50 AM (CT), a Germanwings A320, presumed to be carrying 150 people (144 passengers and six crew), crashed in the French Alps. Flight 4U 9525 left Barcelona, Spain, at around 10 AM local time, and was flying to Dusseldorf, Germany, a route that has been flown a countless number of times without complications. Before crashing, it has been reported that the plane dropped 14,000 feet in six minutes. Currently, it is still uncertain if a distress call from the doomed plane was sent from the crew of the flight.
However, due to terrain conditions, it is said that it will be difficult for emergency teams and rescuers to reach the crash site. The Mayor of Barcelonnette, a community near the crash site, says that the crash site area has not been densely populated since the 1800’s. The French military has confirmed that they have visual of the aircraft wreckage.
Germanwings, founded in 2002, is a low-cost air carrier owned by Lufthansa that is based in Cologne, Germany. Before this incident, the airline has not been involved in any other known incidents or accidents. This comes right after parent company Lufthansa’s ongoing pilot strikes, daily cancelling hundreds of flights worldwide. The company website has confirmed that 4U 9525 “has suffered an accident over the French Alps.” Germanwings has set up a telephone hotline for family and friends of passengers on the flight.
The Airbus A320 has been in service since 1988, with over 6,000 produced as of 2015. This is the same type of aircraft that was operated on AirAsia 8501, which crashed into the Java Sea in December of 2014, and US Airways flight 1549, otherwise known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
The French President Francois Hollande believes that there are to be no survivors. Both parent company Lufthansa and Germanwings have offered their condolences.
The US Department of State, in a press statement, says that it is currently reviewing if any US Citizens were on board the flight and is prepared to “support the Governments of France, Germany, and Spain,” in their investigation.
These past few years have been devastating with the number of air crashes. From Malaysia Airlines 370 and 17 to Indonesia AirAsia 8501, there have been over 600 deaths. This is reality check to everyone that the goodbye you say on the ground may be your last.