The bodies of 12 passengers on board the Russian passenger jet that crashed into the side of a volcano in Indonesia have been found, officials with Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency confirmed.
"Today we reached the crash site... and we found 12 victims and they were all dead. I still don't know the condition of the bodies, but we haven't been able to evacuate them. The bodies are still in body bags,” said the head of the agency.
At least 45 people remain missing. Rescuers continued searching the side of Mount Salak on Friday, but bad weather was hampering the operation.
The wreckage of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 was found Thursday more than 5,000 feet up the side Mount Salak. It appears the aircraft flew straight into a wall of rock. The cause of the crash remains unclear. "An investigation must be done immediately and thoroughly,” President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told reporters.
The Sukhoi Superjet 100 took off from the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta Wednesday afternoon for its second demonstration flight. It disappeared from radar screens as it traveled near Bogor about 21 minutes into the flight. Authorities say the majority of the 45 passengers were Indonesians. At least eight Russians, two Italians, one American and one French citizen were on board.
The Superjet’s demonstration flights in Indonesia were part of an Asian tour. The aircraft demonstrated in Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan before Indonesia. It was set to wrap up the tour in Laos and Vietnam. Sukhoi is a Russian company that is known for manufacturing military aircraft. The Superjet 100 is the company’s first commercial aircraft.
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