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Ten Bodies Found Near Sukhoi Crash Site

  • RFE/RL

Soldiers along with members of a search-and-rescue team search the location of the Russian Sukhoi Superjet plane crash in Cidahu.

Soldiers along with members of a search-and-rescue team search the location of the Russian Sukhoi Superjet plane crash in Cidahu.

Indonesian climbers have found at least 10 bodies amid the wreckage of a Russian-made jetliner that crashed into a mountainside on May 9.

Search-and-rescue agency spokesman Gagah Prakoso said the bodies were being prepared to be transported from the crash site by helicopter.

The team used ropes to scale the near-vertical slopes of Mt. Salak and reach the wreckage.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 with about 45 people on board slammed into the dormant volcano while on a demonstration flight for potential buyers from Indonesian airlines. Everyone on board is feared dead.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono spoke to the family members of the crash victims in Jakarta on May 11, promising a through investigation.

Russian and French investigators have arrived to join the ongoing investigation into the cause of the crash.

Local television showed what appeared to be the plane's tail with the blue-and-white Sukhoi logo, part of a wing, and bits of twisted metal scattered along the slope.

Earlier in the day, rescuers reported that bad weather was hampering access to the remote crash site.

Recovery-operation coordinator Ketut Purwa said that strong winds and fog prevented helicopters from landing close to the crash site.

The ill-fated Superjet was carrying representatives from local airlines and journalists on what was supposed to be a 50-minute demonstration flight.

Just 21 minutes after takeoff from a Jakarta airfield, the Russian pilot and co-pilot asked for permission to drop from 3,000 meters to 1,800 meters.

They gave no explanation, disappearing from the radar immediately afterward.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The Superjet 100 is the first new model of passenger jet produced by Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union and was intended to help resurrect its aerospace industry.

It made its debut in 2008 and began flying commercially in 2011. There are currently eight Superjet 100s in service.

Sukhoi reportedly has orders for up to 170 more Superjets and hopes to produce as many as 1,000.

With reporting by AP, ITAR-TASS, dpa, and AFP
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