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Hollande, Merkel arrive in Alps for crash victims homage

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 21:37
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French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived together by helicopter on Wednesday in the remote Alpine region where an Airbus plane smashed into a mountain, ahead of an international homage to the 150 victims.

[SEYNE-LES-ALPES, France] French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived together by helicopter on Wednesday in the remote Alpine region where an Airbus plane smashed into a mountain, ahead of an international homage to the 150 victims.

Spain's Mariano Rajoy joined them in the village of Seyne-les-Alpes, where French investigators have set up headquarters for search operations in the nearby ravine where the Germanwings airliner came down on Tuesday.

The three leaders thanked search teams and were due to meet families of victims of the still-unexplained crash, which followed a sharp descent of the Airbus 320 carrying them from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.

In all, 72 Germans were killed in the crash, the first major air passenger disaster on French soil since the 2000 Concorde accident just outside Paris. Spanish officials said 49 Spaniards were among the victims.

REUTERS