POLITICS

Obama: Germanwings Plane Crash 'Particularly Heartbreaking'

03/24/2015 02:47 pm ET | Updated Mar 24, 2015

President Barack Obama spoke about the plane crash that occurred in the French Alps on Tuesday, saying the crash is "particularly heartbreaking" because many of the plane's 144 passengers were young.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Europe, especially the people of Germany and Spain," Obama said ahead of a joint press conference with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan at the White House.

"It’s particularly heartbreaking because it apparently includes the loss of so many children," Obama added.

Ghani also gave his condolences to the people of Germany and Spain over the plane crash.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said a helicopter that was able to reach the crash site confirmed that there were no survivors. In addition to the 144 passengers -- 16 of whom were high school students -- two pilots and four flight attendants were on board the Airbus A320 plane, operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airline.

HuffPost has more on the crash:

A plane carrying 150 people crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday en route from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf in Germany. No one is believed to have survived the crash.

The Airbus A320 plane, operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airline, went into rapid decline and lost radar contact with air traffic control about an hour after take-off at 10 a.m. local time, the airline said.

Germanwings said the plane started losing altitude one minute after it reached cruising height, and continued to descend for eight minutes before the crash.

The plane crashed in a remote area of the French Alps, about 65 miles north of the riviera town of Nice.

Read more here.

26/03/2015 17:46 GMT

Third American Passenger Identified

The U.S. State Department has said the third passenger on board the doomed Germanwings plane was Robert Oliver.

Read more here.

26/03/2015 17:11 GMT

How A Cockpit Door Lock Works

The New York Times provides a visual explainer on how the lock on the Germanwings plane functions. Read it here.

26/03/2015 15:42 GMT

Merkel: Crash Findings 'Beyond Power Of Imagination'

26/03/2015 15:24 GMT

Nancy Pelosi Addresses Germanwings Crash

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke about the plane crash on Thursday.

"For a long time many of us have questioned if there should be something more between passengers and the cockpit," Pelosi told reporters Thursday.

"But even if we had a bigger gate, it would not have prevented this as far as we know," she added. "It does bring up the subject again."

Pelosi said this incident is "highly unusual," but does expose potential "vulnerability" of the cock pit on an airplane.

-- Laura Barron-Lopez & Paige Lavender

26/03/2015 14:57 GMT

France Asks FBI To Help In Crash Investigation

26/03/2015 14:37 GMT

Airbus Issues Statement

26/03/2015 14:27 GMT

Families Told Co-Pilot Crashed Plane

NBC's Chief Global Correspondent Bill Neely reports:

26/03/2015 14:23 GMT

Co-Pilot Reportedly Underwent Training In Arizona

26/03/2015 14:17 GMT

Video: Crash Recovery Operation Continues

26/03/2015 14:14 GMT

Lufthansa CEO: Suicide Is Not The Right Description

In response to a question on whether the pilot's actions were suicide, Carsten Spohr told the press briefing: "I'm no lawyer and I don't want to settle on a specific word, but I would say if if you cause the death of 149 people along with you, it's something other than suicide."

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