Germanwings plane crash: Recovery operation resumes

PARIS - A search and recovery operation has resumed in the southern French Alps after Tuesday's crash of a Germanwings plane with 150 people on board.

Officials warn the operation could last for days in a remote mountain ravine between Digne and Barcelonnette.

The leaders of Germany, France and Spain are due to visit the crash site.

The Airbus A320 - flight 4U 9525 - from Barcelona to Duesseldorf crashed after an eight-minute rapid descent, officials say. There were no survivors.

Officials believe 67 of the 144 passengers were German citizens, including 16 pupils returning from an exchange trip.

A day of mourning was being held at the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium school in Haltern-am-See, north-west Germany, where the pupils were from.

More than 40 passengers were believed to be Spanish and the flight was also carrying citizens of Australia, Japan, Colombia, Turkey, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium. UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said it was "sadly likely" that some British nationals were on board.

The plane's cockpit voice recorder - recovered by a helicopter team on Tuesday - was damaged but could still provide information, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

Finding the second "black box" - the flight data recorder - will be a key aim of Wednesday's search operation.

A team of police officers spent the night on the mountain, securing the site.

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