16 German teens assumed dead in France air crash: mayor

24th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Sixteen German teenagers on a school trip to Spain were on board the doomed aircraft that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday killing all 150 passengers and crew, authorities said.

"The city is deeply saddened," said Bodo Klimpel, the mayor of Haltern am See, the students' hometown in northwestern Germany.

"Everyone is in a state of shock. It is the worst thing you can imagine."

The teenagers and their two teachers had been on a week-long exchange trip to Spain, and their names were on the passenger manifest of the Barcelona-Duesseldorf Germanwings flight, Klimpel told a news conference, fighting back tears.

Although rescue crews have not yet reached the crash site in a remote area of the French Alps, "we have to assume the worst," he said.

Outside their school, fellow students lit candles for the victims, who were 10th graders studying Spanish.

French officials said there were no survivors among the 144 passengers and six crew board the Germanwings Airbus 320 jet when it crashed near the ski resort of Barcelonnette.

Marti Pujol, mayor of Llinars de Valles, a village near Barcelona, said pupils at the Instituto Giola which the German visitors had attended during their exchange were being given counseling to help cope with the tragedy.

© 2015 AFP

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