As many as 148 people are feared dead after an Airbus A320, operated by Lufthansa‘s budget carrier Germanwings, crashed in Southern France. 

Per reports in ABC News and elsewhere, the plane was en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, when it crashed near the town of Barcelonnette.

The plane issued a distress call at around 10.47am local time – there were 142 passengers on board, along with two pilots and four cabin crew members.

French President Francois Hollande addressed the media after the incident, saying “the conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, lead us to think there are no survivors.”

Further details are unknown at this point, but Hollande also said that a significant number of passengers on the flight were likely to be German. 

UPDATE: Spanish officials have said that there were up to 45 Spanish passengers on the plane.

Wreckage has been discovered in the area around Barcelonnette, with helicopters conducting searches. Rescue efforts are underway, but experts say that the process will be “extremely difficult” because of the terrain in the Alps. 

“The plane looks as if it’s come down against the mountains,” said France 24 journalist John Maguire, adding that any rescue attempt will be “challenging” at this point.

Photo: Sean Gallup via Getty Images