No Survivors Found In Russian Plane Crash In Indonesia
The flight disappeared from radar Wednesday, about 20 minutes after takeoff. The cause of the crash is unknown.
“Experts are saying that the plane has been working impeccably well and that possibly it was human error,” Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told Reuters.
Search and rescue teams climbed through the jungle terrain of Mount Salak for nearly 20 hours to reach the site where the plane crashed, traveling at 480 mph, the Associated Press reported. Bodies have been found but no survivors.
The passenger list was made up mostly of journalists and potential buyers, local airline representatives. According to the AP, the remaining 10 passengers were Russians from Sukhoi companies, an American consultant with a local airline and a Frenchman with aircraft engine-maker Snecma.
When the weather clears from the mist-shrouded mountain, bodies will be hoisted by nets and ropes into helicopters, a spokesman for the national search and rescue agency told the AP.
“We’re still searching for survivors,” Gagah Prakoso said. “But it doesn’t look good.”
The crash may harm sales of the model which had its inaugural commercial flight in April 2011. News agencies differed on the capacity of the plane. Reuters reported the plane could seat 68 to 103 passengers. The AP reported the plane could seat 70 to 98 people.
From the AP:
The Sukhoi Superjet-100 — Russia's first new model of passenger jet since the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago — was supposed to kick-start the nation's efforts to modernize its fleet and resurrect its neglected aerospace industry.
Indonesia, the fourth stop of a six-nation "Welcome Asia!" tour, was one of Sukhoi's brightest hopes, accounting for a big chunk of the 170 orders taken globally so far.
Kartika Airlines, Sky Aviation and Queen Air were some of the airlines who had placed orders.
“Our plan is to order 30 plans, gradually until 2014, to strengthen our fleet,” a top executive at Kartika, Arifin Seman, told the AP. “But we will wait for the result of the investigation before making any further decisions.”
General marketing manager of Sky Aviation, Sutito Zainudin, echoed the same pending decision to Reuters.
“Some of our staff were in the plane,” Zainudin said. “We are waiting for the investigation by the authorities, whether it’s human error or plane issues.”
Reach executive producer Agnus Dei Farrant here.