German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will travel to the site of the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps. They will be met by the French President Francois Hollande following the crash on Tuesday morning of Germanwings Airbus A320, which was enroute to Dusseldorf from Barcelona.

The Spanish Prime Minister tweeted that he would be at the area of the crash, which is between Digne and Barcelonnette in the French Alps. Of those on board, 45 are thought to be Spanish nationals. Three days of national mourning in Spain was announced following a crisis meeting of the cabinet.

Germany is also in mourning following the crash, which claimed the lives of 67 German nationals, including 16 students who were on an exchange programme. Two babies were also confirmed to have been on board. Flight 4U9525 was heading to Dusseldorf when it lost contact with French Air Traffic Controllers at 9.53am UTC.

France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that the plane's black box had been recovered from the crash site. Cazeneuve has been at the site in the French Alps on Tuesday, where he said the debris had been found. Pictures emerged from the area showing what is thought to be the plane wreckage strewed across the mountainous region.

Police and rescue teams have struggled to get to the area, relying on helicopters to reach the site of the wreckage.

Investigations are underway was to what caused the crash. Germanwings so far believe it was an accident although the exact cause of the crash is yet to be determined. No distress call was set from flight 4U9525, which dropped from high altitude in just 8 minutes, before disappearing off radar.

Spain's King Felipe VI, who was on a state visit to France, has cut short his visit in the wake of the tragedy. He met with President Hollande on Tuesday morning at the Elysee Palace as news was emerging of the crash. King Felipe VI expressed his condolences and thanked the French authorities for their quick response. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who was also at the Elysee meeting, said France had been plunged "into a deep sadness".