FRENCH Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve reports that the black box belonging to the Germanwings plane that came down in the French Alps has been found.
Meanwhile in Barcelona’s El Prat, where families and friends of the victims are gathering to help identify loved ones and for counselling, a spokesperson for Swissport, the airline’s ground handling company, said: “Most of the 144 passengers on the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday morning were German nationals going home after a few days in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca.”
Amongst the passengers was a group of 16 German exchange students from Joseph-Koenig high school in Haltern am See, northern Germany, who were going home after a stay in Spain.
The high school in the village of Llinars del Valles where they stayed has confirmed that the Catalan students had been in Germany a few weeks ago.
Aviation sources speculated to Sky News that the speed of the plane shortly before the crash had been about 350mph, which may suggest engine failure as a cause, because 350mph is the speed a pilot would aim to reach before trying to “relight” the engines after a double engine failure.