Everyone on board is feared dead after debris from the plane was found scattered over a wild area near Barcelonnette hours later. The cause of the crash is not yet known.
The plane disappeared from radar in the Alpes de Hautes Provence (above) in the southern French Alps
He said there was likely to be a significant number of Germans on the flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. He added: "The accident happened in a zone that is particularly hard to access. I am seeking information about homes in the area it came down. It's difficult place to access. In the meantime solidarity must prevail.'