Two Germanwings Passengers Were American Citizens
It was confirmed Wednesday morning that two American passengers were on Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 when it crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 souls onboard. This confirmation comes from Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann. The U.S. Department of State has yet to confirm that American citizens were onboard the flight. The identities of the two American passengers have not yet been released.
Winkelmann made the announcement at a press conference in Cologne, Germany. The Germanwings CEO said the airline still does not have a complete list of confirmed passengers and their nationalities, because the airline is still working to notify families.
However, Winkelmann was able to give an updated list of passengers and their nationalities. Winkelmann confirmed that there were 72 German nationals onboard, as well as 35 Spaniards. He said there were also two victims each from Argentina, Australia, Venezuela and Iran. There were also passengers from Great Britain, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, Mexico, Belgium and Colombia, Winkelmann said.
Although Winkelmann only confirmed one British passenger, British media has reported that there may have been more Britons on the plane. The Telegraph reported that Great Britain lost a father-of-two and business man, Martyn Matthews, as well as a mother and child from Manchester.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said that there may be more British victims. Hammond said at a press conference on Wednesday:
We currently believe that three British people have been killed in this tragedy, but we can’t rule out the possibility that there are further British people involved. The level of information on the flight manifest doesn’t allow us to rule out that possibility until we’ve completed some further checks.
Britain's Foreign Office has also confirmed and released the names of four known victims who were either residents or citizens of Great Britain, The Guardian reported. In addition to Martyn Matthews, there was Marina Bandres Lopez-Belio, a resident of Manchester with roots in Spain, and her baby, Julian Pracz-Bandres. The Foreign Office also identified Briton Paul Andrew Bramley, a 28-year-old who was studying at Cesar Ritz Colleges in Lucerne, Switzerland.
It's very possible that there may be more victims of certain nationalities confirmed in the next few days. While the airline has only confirmed 35 Spanish victims, Spanish authorities said on Wednesday that they have identified 49 Spaniards that were onboard Flight 4U 9525.
According to the Associated Press, President Obama called Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Wednesday morning to express his condolences. Rajoy traveled to the crash site in southern France Wednesday afternoon, where he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
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