Lit candles germanwings
Lit candles are placed outside the Josef-Koenig-Gymnasium high school in Haltern am See, March, 24, 2015. Students and teachers at a small-town German high school broke out in tears when they realised that 16 classmates and two teachers were on board an ill-fated Germanwings airplane that crashed in France on Tuesday on a flight home to Duesseldorf. REUTERS/Kirsten

When European discount airline Germanwings confirmed on Twitter that one of it’s airplanes crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday, it made the announcement in German English and Spanish. In it’s multi-national operation, victims are likely to be of different nationalities, and reaching out to them will be a monumental and multi-lingual task.

Ten hours after the crash, officials had not released the nationalities list of the aircraft, which included 144 passengers and 6 crewmembers. However, reports began to creep in. Passengers included 67 Germans and 45 Spanish citizens, though some outlets reported that those were merely calculations based on surname and not on actual passenger counts.

Sixteen Spanish high school students from Catalonia are reported to have been on the flight, recently departed from an exchange with other students in Cologne. Reports that a Mexican woman from Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico were unconfirmed. Also among them was one 33-year-old Colombian student whose family was notified, according to Caracol Radio. Friends of possible victims arrived at the origin airport in Barcelona to mourn.

“I cannot tell you any information about the nationality of the passengers,” said a Germanwings spokesman, according to live coverage by The Spain Report. “We believe the most important thing is to get the information to the relatives, that is our focus now.” Likely stretched across time zones and continents, the process of sharing the sad news was going slow.

“One thing is the list of passenger names, another thing is checking the nationality of each of the passengers. The families must receive the news first,” said Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saénz de Santamaría, according to The Spain Report.

Search operations were suspended after nightfall on Tuesday. Officials did not expect to find survivors.

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