Helicopters spotted the scattered wreckage of a Russian-made passenger plane on the side of a mist-shrouded mountain on Thursday after it disappeared during a demonstration flight in Indonesia with 47 people on board.There was no sign of survivors.Family members who spent the night at the airport broke down in tears on hearing the news.”Rescuers on the helicopters could clearly see the wreckage located at the top of Mount Salak,” including the blue-and-white of the aircraft maker, said Gagah Prakoso, a spokesman for the Search and Rescue National Agency.
“There is no sign of any of the passengers,” he said. “We’re trying to move in closer to the wreckage now.”
Debris of the Russian Sukhoi SuperJet-100, dropped off radar Wednesday during a demonstration flight, are believed to have been found, say Indonesian Air Force officials. At least 48 are feared to be dead in the accident. The helicopters spotted what they believe is the plane on the side of a cliff on Mount Salak in West Java province, Maj. Ali Umri Lubis, of Atang Sanjaya Air base in Bogor, told MetroTV. He said it was at an elevation of about 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) but had no further details.
Three helicopters and over 600 rescuers resumed their search operation around Salak Mountain, in Java’s west, on Thursday morning. When search and rescue teams were heading to the area, said Bambang Ervan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation. Bad weather, however, forced at least two helicopters to turn back.
Before that, Indonesian authorities expressed hope for the plane had taken an emergency landing. Still, the capital’s Emergency Agency chief, Ketut Parwa, admits that if there had been an emergency landing some news via the radio or phone calls should have made their way in by now.We fear [the plane] might have crashed in a jungle area some 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) above sea level near Kawah Ratu,” Parwa added.