Germanwings Crash Dominates European Media

It is still unclear what caused Flight 9525 to crash into the French Alps, killing 150 people.

The crash of Germanwings flight 9525, which slammed into the Alps and killed all 150 people on board, continues to dominate news coverage in Europe. Television, newspaper and online media have shifted their focus from the news of the crash to the cause of the accident, which remains a mystery.

The crash was front-page news across Europe and the latest developments surrounding the accident continue to lead news casts and top online sites.

The routine flight left Barcelona, Spain for Dusseldorf, Germany on Tuesday, March 24. Shortly after reaching its cruising height, it began to lose altitude quickly. For eight minutes, there was no contact between the cockpit and French air traffic control. The plane crashed into the French Alps, killing all 144 passengers and six crew members on board. One of the aircraft's black box flight recorders was found at the crash site, some 65 miles north of Nice, the Riviera city near Cannes, where the international film festival is held every year.

The crash has shocked Europe. Germanwings is a budget carrier owned by Lufthansa, Europe's largest airline and had an excellent safety record.

Officials believe 67 of those aboard the plane were German citizens, including a German school class on its way back from an exchange trip. The passengers also included two opera singers, Maria Radner and Oleg Bryjak and dozens of Spanish citizens. The flight was also carrying citizens of Australia, Turkey, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium. U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said it was “sadly likely" that some British nationals were on board.

The Liceu opera house in Barcelona paid tribute to the two singers and politicians from across Europe, including French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed their condolences for the families of the victims.

European media coverage on Wednesday focused on the mystery of the plane's crash, which went down in clear weather with no obvious technical problems. Speaking on French radio station RTL, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said terrorism was “not a privileged hypothesis at the moment” but that no theories had been definitively excluded. One of the plane's black box cockpit voice recorders was recovered at the crash site and more information on its contents is expected later today.

Merkel, Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy are expected to visit the crash site later today.

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