With Europe still reeling from the crash of Germanwings flight 9525, world leaders reacted with grief and shock, expressing their condolences to those affected by the tragedy.
"My thoughts and my condolences and the whole German government go out to those who have suddenly lost their lives, including many of our compatriots," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said following the crash. "The suffering of their families is immense."
Spain announced three days of mourning in the wake of the crash, beginning Wednesday.
"I lament, as we all do, this sad and dramatic accident," Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said at a press conference.
French President Francois Hollande called the crash "a tragedy on our soil."
"I want to express my solidarity to the families of the victims of the air crash," Hollande wrote on Twitter. "This is a mourning, a tragedy."
Spanish King Felipe cut short a state visit to France following the plane crash.
US President Barack Obama called both Merkel and Rajoy to convey his condolences on behalf of the United States.
"Germany and Spain are among our strongest allies in the world and our message to them is that as their steadfast friend and ally, America stands with them at this moment of sorrow," Obama said Tuesday.
"It's heartbreaking because it apparently includes the loss of so many children, some of them infants," Obama added.
Sixteen German high school students from the town of Haltern in northwest Germany were killed in the crash.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also pledged UK support in the wake of the crash.
Merkel, Rajoy and Hollande will travel to the crash site Wednesday to pay respects to the victims of the tragedy.
Flight 9525, an Airbus A320, crashed in a remote area of the French Alps near the town of Seyne-Les-Alpes shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board. Investigators will resume recovery efforts Wednesday and attempt to locate the plane's second black box.
bw/rc (AP,Reuters, AFP)