16 High School Classmates Among The Dead In French Plane Crash

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The 150 passengers aboard the Germanwings flight that crashed into the French Alps Tuesday included 16 high school students on a class trip, two opera singers, and citizens from more than a dozen countries, CNN reports. 

The Airbus 320 went down early yesterday morning on a flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf in a remote mountainous region of France. Rescue crews are still combing the area but it's nearly certain that all 144 passengers and six crew members were killed. 

One of the plane's two black boxes was recovered this morning, but no useful data has been published. The crash is believed to have been accidental, likely due to a mechanical problem. 

The two Americans on board were a mother and daughter from Virginia. They've been identified as Yvonne and Emily Selke, the latter a student at Drexel University.

Among the more heartbreaking stories from the crash is that of 16 teenagers who were on their way back from a class trip to Spain. The teens, along with their two chaperones, were from the small German town of Haltern am See, and had won a lottery to get the chance to go on the trip. Classes were canceled at the students' high school on Wednesday to allow for a memorial.

Germany and Spain lost the most of citizens in the crash. Passengers from Australia, Argentina, Iran, the United States, Venezuela, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Israel, Mexico, Japan, Holland, and the United Kingdom were also on board, according to Thomas Winkelmann, Germanwings CEO.

This post was originally published on March 24, 2015 and has been updated since as more information emerged. An earlier version reported the number of dead as 148, which was consistent with early reports. 150 are now believed to have been lost.
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