Rescuers found no survivors yesterday at the site of a Russian plane that crashed in western Indonesia, the country’s search and rescue agency said.
“We entered the area ... and found the dead bodies, but we cannot say about the number,” said agency spokesman Gagah Prakoso. “We haven’t found any survivors.”
A helicopter search team began collecting body parts at the site, an official at Halim airport in Jakarta — where the plane took off from on Wednesday.
The Russian Sukhoi jet went missing during a demonstration flight with about 50 people — including an American — on board.
Indonesian officials said it vanished from radar screens south of the capital around 50 minutes into what was meant to be a brief flight.
Reports from Russia said the aircraft lost contact only 20 minutes after takeoff.
The pilot had earlier requested permission to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet near Mount Salak, a peak measuring 7,200ft.
The wreckage of the plane was found in the Cijeruk area, near Mount Salak, close to the city of Bogor in West Java, shortly after dawn on Thursday.
Separate investigations have been ordered by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Russian aviation authorities.
There were scenes of grief at Halim airport, with relatives of passengers sitting on luggage carousels weeping uncontrollably, waiting for information.
Russian investigators opened a criminal probe into the crash yesterday and said they would look into the procedure for preparing the flight crew and also the technical condition of the craft itself before its departure from Russia.”