Aircraft crashes in Mediterranean

One person dead and six missing as Airbus A320 on training mission plunges into sea.

    The A320 is one of Airbus's best-selling
    single-aisle airliners [EPA]

    The aircraft, built in 2005, had been leased to XL Airways, a German charter firm.

    Asger Schubert, an airline spokesman, said the two pilots in the jet were German and worked for XL Airways Germany.

    Officials said the five other people on board were New Zealand nationals.

    'Technical flight'

    Regional officials said the plane was on a "technical flight" and was being serviced by a company based in Perpignan.

    It had been undergoing servicing at EAS Industries in Perpignan and had been flying circuits for 90 minutes before it crashed, an emergency services spokesman said.

    A major rescue operation continued into the night with a surveillance plane, two rescue helicopters and five ships scouring the seas around the crash site about 2.5km from the shore.

    Six French aviation accident investigators and two from Germany were being sent to help an inquiry with experts from the French civil aviation authority and Airbus.

    About 20 specialist frogmen were taking part in the operation.

    The French navy sent ships to the zone in a bid to find the wreckage and find the black box flight recorders.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.