By ANDI JATMIKO
Rescuers discovered the shattered wreckage of a new Russian-made passenger plane Thursday that smashed into the side of an Indonesian volcano during a flight to impress potential buyers. All 45 people on board were feared dead.
Due to the remoteness of the crash site and the steep, rugged terrain, the bodies will be placed in nets and lifted by ropes to a hovering chopper, national search and rescue agency spokesman Gagah Prakoso said. Heavy mist was hampering visibility, however, forcing the postponement of evacuations until Friday.
“So far we haven’t found any survivors, but we are still searching,” he said as teams of soldiers, police and volunteers continued to troop up the slopes.
The Sukhoi Superjet-100 — Russia’s first new model of passenger jet since the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago — was in Indonesia as part of a six-nation tour of Asia aimed at drumming up new customers.
It was carrying dozens of representatives from local airlines and journalists on what was supposed to be a quick, 50-minute demonstration flight Wednesday. Some excited passengers snapped pictures of themselves smiling and waving in front of the twin-engine jet before lifting off, then quickly posting them as profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter.