A plane carrying 142 passengers and six crew has crashed in the southern French Alps en route from Spain to Germany.
The Airbus A320 disappeared from radar in the Alpes de Hautes Provence after sending a distress signal at 10.47am local time (9.47am GMT).
Debris from the jet, operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings budget airline, has been found near Barcelonnette, according to the French Interior Ministry.
French president Francois Hollande said that he did not expect there to be any survivors.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he understood between 142 and 150 people were on board and feared dead.
‘The cause is at present unknown,’ he told reporters.
A spokesman for the DGAC aviation authority said the airplane crashed near the town of Barcelonnette about 100 km (65 miles) north of the French Riviera city of Nice.
German media reports say there is a wide field of debris visible.
According to flight data from FlightAware 24, at 09.30 UTC (10.30 GMT) the aircraft was cruising at 38,000 feet at 463 knots.
It started losing altitude to 37,975 by 10.31am with the speed reportedly increasing to 477kts.