Residents in the small French town of Seyne Les Alpes are finding it difficult to come to terms with what has happened virtually on their doorstep.
Although only 10 km from the crash site where the airbus came down many locals only learned about the tragedy from social media.
“Initially when I saw it … I was on Facebook, I told you, I saw ‘crashed Airbus’ I thought is this a bad joke or a mistake. Then I turned on the TV and I saw it was true …..We still can’t believe it, said one woman.
“It’s a very busy air route. We usually see the white lines made by the planes when they fly over the town, “ said another local.
The town has become the centre of the search and rescue operation with emergency and media crews having based themselves there. Local officials are preparing for the arrival of the victims’ families.