All passengers onboard a Germanwings Airbus A320 flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf are feared dead after the plane crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday morning. The flight crashed between Digne and Barcelonnette as it was halfway through its journey.

Germanwings, a subsidiary of airline giant Lufthansa, tweeted saying their "thoughts and prayers" are with the family and friends of everyone involved in today's disaster. There was 144 passengers and 6 crew members on board. The flight took off from Barcelona at 8.55am UTC and lost contact with Air Traffic Control in France at 9.53am UTC.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that the disaster this morning had plunged France "into a deep sadness." Emergency response vehicles are struggling to reach the mountainous terrain, with authorities warning it could be hours, even days, before they reach the scene.

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Up to ten helicopters and hundreds police officers and rescue teams are involved in the operation to reach the wreckage. It is reported that a helicopter has landed at the scene of the crash, which reported no survivors.

French President Francois Hollande made a statement saying that he does not expect "any survivors" from the crash. Flight 4U9525 did not issue a distress call, despite initial reports. Air Traffic Control initiated a "distress" announcement after the aircraft dropped in altitude and then lost contact with them.

The airline confirmed that there were 67 German nationals on board. Spain's Deputy Prime Minister said they believe 45 of their nationals were on the flight. Among those feared dead are two babies and 16 German school children who were returning from a school exchange programme in Spain.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she will visit the site of the crash on Wednesday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a tweet that the UK is ready to support the emergency teams in France. "Today's plane crash in the Alps is heartbreaking news. The UK will do everything it can to support the French emergency services."