SEYNE-LES-ALPES, France — A black box recovered from the scene and pulverized pieces of debris strewn across Alpine mountainsides held clues to what caused a German jetliner to take an unexplained eight-minute dive Tuesday midway through a flight from Spain to Germany, apparently killing all 150 people on board.
The victims included two babies, two opera singers and 16 German high school students and their teachers returning from an exchange trip to Spain. It was the deadliest crash in France in decades.
The Airbus A320 operated by Germanwings, a budget subsidiary of Lufthansa, was less than an hour from landing in Dusseldorf on a flight from Barcelona when it unexpectedly went into a rapid descent. The pilots sent out no distress call and had lost radio contact with their control center, France’s aviation authority said, deepening the mystery.