The Spanish Prime Minister broke off his holiday in the south of the country on hearing of the disaster.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero went to the airport where the crash happened and then spoke to reporters.
He said he wanted to express his sorrow, condolences and offer a message of solidarity to the families of the victims.
“The government is in a state of shock, very upset, as are all Spanish citizens,” he said.
Opposition leader Mariano Rajoy said: “There is no doubt we are facing a terrible event for the families of those lost. It is terrible also for those hurt. I want to express my condolences to everyone, in the name of the Popular Party, especially to the families of those killed.”
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