US President Barack Obama has expressed condolences to Germany and Spain and the victims of a plane crash in the Alps. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "shocked" by news of the accident and would immediately travel to the crash site, while Spanish King Felipe VI cut short his state visit to France after news of the tragedy.
Angela Merkel is expected to visit the crash site on Wednesday.
"Our thoughts and our prayers are with our friends in Europe, especially the people of Germany and Spain, following a terrible airplane crash in France," Obama old reporters at a joint White House conference with the visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Obama said he had spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the crash.
He described the tragedy as "awful" and "heart-breaking" as many children died in the crash.
"I called German Chancellor (Angela) Merkel and I hope to speak with President Rajoy of Spain later today to express condolences of the American people, and to offer whatever assistance that we can as they investigate the awful tragedy," he said.
"Our teams are in close contact, and we're working to confirm how many Americans may have been on board. Germany and Spain are among our strongest allies in the world. Our message to them is that as their steadfast friend and ally, America stands with them at this moment of sorrow," Obama said.
The airplane, a Germanwings jet carrying 150 people from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, crashed in a remote section of the French Alps.