A Germanwings flight crashed in the French Alps Tuesday, the French civil aviation authority has confirmed. The Dusseldorf-bound plane, an Airbus 320, was carrying 144 passengers, four crew members, and two pilots. French President François Hollande told reporters that "there might not be any survivors."

A spokesman for Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile, Paris' aviation authority, confirmed to the New York Times that the plane was found near Prads-Haute-Bléone, about 60 miles north of Nice. In an address on French television, Hollande said most of the flight's passengers were German.

Germanwings is a budget airline operated by Lufthansa; the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Update 3, 3:24 p.m.: Officials at the Joseph-Königs Gymnasium school in Haltern am See, Germany confirmed that 16 students, all 10th graders, and two teachers were on the flight. According to the BBC, the plane did not send out a distress signal before crashing.

Update 2, 10:55 a.m.: French Prime Minister Manuel Valls confirmed to the Associated Press that a helicopter managed to land near the crash site, but found no survivors. Gilbert Sauvan, a local, told the newspaper Les Echos, "The plane is disintegrated."

Update, 10:50 a.m.: According to the Times, air traffic control lost radio contact with the plane about 40 minutes after takeoff. Multiple officials have said that the mountainous terrain where the plane crashed will make it difficult for recovery teams to access.

A local official in the region, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly, said that an initial survey of the area by a helicopter showed that debris had been spread across a very craggy area.

[Image of plane debris via AP]

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