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Indonesia: Bodies but no survivors found among wreckage of crashed Russian jet


Indonesian relatives of passengers of the Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 cry at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta on May 10, 2012 as rescuers search for survivors at crash site in Mount Salak in Western Java province.


Romeo Gacad

Rescue teams have found bodies but no survivors from the crash of a Russian jetliner in Indonesia, local and foreign media reported Thursday.

Teams searching for the plane spotted debris from the Sukhoi Superjet 100 on the side of Mount Salak, a volcano south of Jakarta, ealry Thursday CNN cited Vice Marshal Daryatmo, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency, as saying.

More from GlobalPost: Indonesia: Wreckage of missing plane found

The twin-engined Sukhoi Superjet, Russia's first all-new passenger jet since the fall of the Soviet Union, went missing on Wednesday about 40 miles south of Jakarta, 50 minutes into its flight.

Air traffic controllers lost radio contact with the aircraft after it descended to 6,000 feet near Mount Salak, which rises to 7,254 feet above sea level, a rescue official said, Reuters reported.

The flight was meant to show off the plane's capabilities to prospective buyers as Russia tries to rebuild its civilian jet industry, Agence France-Presse wrote.

The jet was carrying Indonesians, including journalists and businessmen, eight Russians, including embassy officials, pilots and technicians, two Italians, one French citizen and one American, the head Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk, Reuters wrote.

CNN reported that an image released by the Indonesian military showed bits of debris strewn across a patch of steep mountainside stripped bare of the thick vegetation covering the surrounding area.

The cause of the crash remained unclear, however more details about the ill-fated flight have emerged.

The plane was on its second demonstration flight, with CNN quoting an Indonesian official as saying:

"The first demonstration flight in the morning went smoothly. There were no problems."

The plane lost contact with air traffic controllers at 2:12 p.m., 21 minutes after taking off from Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma Airport.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that the Sukhoi jet had arrived in Jakarta as part of a demonstration tour of six Asian countries, having previously flown in Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan. It was due to tour Laos and Vietnam after Indonesia.

Russia's United Aircraft Corporation said in February that the nation would export 10 Sukhoi Superjets in 2012 — to Mexico, Indonesia, and Laos — in the second half of the year.

So far, only one plane has been exported, to Armenia.

Domestic airlines Aeroflot and Armavia are also taking 10 of the jets between them.

Meantime, two helicopters sent out to search for the plane later Wednesday had to return to their bases due to strong winds and unpredictable weather, CNN reported.

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