A Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps region as it was travelling from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. The plane crashed in a remote area of the Alps, killing all 150 people on board including 16 schoolchildren.

germanwings plane crash alps
A Germanwings Airbus A320 registration D-AIPX is seen in Berlin in this March 29, 2014 photoJan Seba/Reuters

Germanwings confirmed flight 4U9525 went down with 144 passengers and six crew on board. The airline believed there were 67 Germans on the flight. Spain's deputy prime minister said 45 passengers had Spanish names.

Also among the victims were 16 children and two teachers from the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium high school in Haltern am See in north-west Germany.

Family members arrived at Barcelona's El Prat airport, many crying and with arms around each others' shoulders, accompanied by police and airport staff.

germanwings plane crash alps
Family members of passengers feared killed in the Germanwings plane crash react at Barcelona's El Prat airportGustau Nacarino/Reuters
germanwings plane crash alps
Family members of someone presumed killed in the plane crash comfort one another at Barcelona's El Prat airportQuique Garcia/AFP
germanwings plane crash alps
Students embrace in front of lit candles outside the Josef-Koenig-Gymnasium high school in Haltern am See, Germany. Sixteen students and two teachers were on board the Germanwings plane that crashed in FranceKirsten Neumann/Reuters

One of the plane's black box recorders has been found. Investigators described a scene of devastation where the airliner crashed.

"We saw an aircraft that had literally been ripped apart, the bodies are in a state of destruction, there is not one intact piece of wing or fuselage," Bruce Robin, prosecutor for the city of Marseille, told Reuters in Seyne-les-Alpes after flying over the crash zone in a helicopter.

French police at the crash site said no one survived and it would take days to recover the bodies due to difficult terrain, snow and incoming storms.

germanwings plane crash alps
A rescue helicopter from the French Gendarmerie hovers above a field near the crash siteJean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters
germanwings plane crash alps
A rescue helicopter from the French Securite Civile flies over the French Alps near the crash siteJean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters
germanwings plane crash alps
French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Germany's ambassador to France Suzanne Wasum-Rainer meet volunteers at a mortuary set up inside a gymnasium in Seyne, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French AlpsBoris Horvat/AFP

Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr, who planned to go to the crash site, spoke of a "dark day for Lufthansa". "My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew," Lufthansa said on Twitter, citing Spohr.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would travel to the crash site on 25 March. King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain called off their state visit to France in a sign of mourning for the victims. They had arrived in Paris minutes after the crash happened.

germanwings plane crash alps
Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa Chief Executive, makes a statement at Frankfurt airport, confirming that flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf crashed in the French AlpsKai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
germanwings plane crash alps
German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a statement in Berlin. She said her thoughts were 'with those people who so suddenly lost their lives, among them many compatriots'. She also urged people not to speculate on the cause of the crash until an investigation can be conducted.Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters
germanwings plane crash alps
Members of the French government observe a minute of silence at the National Assembly in ParisCharles Platiau/Reuters
germanwings plane crash alps
French prime minister Manuel Valls, Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, and General Herve Charpentier attend a military ceremony at the Invalides in Paris. The three-day state visit of the Spanish royals was suspended following the crashReuters