Skip to main content

Wreckage found from Russian plane missing in Indonesia

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:04 PM EDT, Wed May 9, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Wreckage of the plane has been located, a local official says
  • The Sukhoi Superjet 100 was on a multination demonstration tour
  • The plane started to descend and then vanished off radar screens
  • A Sukhoi representative says 42 passengers and eight crew members were on board

Are you there? Share photos and video with CNN iReport.

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- The wreckage of a Russian passenger airliner that went missing during a demonstration flight over Indonesia has been found in a mountainous area, a local official said Thursday.

Ali Umri Lubis, the mayor of Bogor, in West Java, said that parts of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 that disappeared off radar screens on Wednesday had been located. But he didn't provide any information on the passengers who were on board.

Rescue workers on the ground who have been searching for the plane have not yet been able to reach the wreckage.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia said in a brief televised address Thursday that there was a strong possibility that the plane had crashed into Mount Salak, a volcano south of Jakarta.

The Sukhoi jet, Russia's newest civilian airliner, was carrying 42 passengers and eight Russian crew members, according to Sunaryo, an official with Sukhoi's Indonesian agent, Trimarga Rekatama.

However, the number was in dispute. The Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency said only 37 of the 42 invited passengers were on board. Russian state-run news agencies reported 44 people were on the plane.

The plane was on its second demonstration flight Wednesday when it lost contact with air controllers at Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma Airport.

"The first demonstration flight in the morning went smoothly," said Sunaryo, who uses only one name. "There were no problems."

On the second flight, the plane began making its descent but vanished from radar screens at 6,200 feet in a mountainous area.

The plane lost contact with air traffic controllers at 2:12 p.m., 21 minutes after taking off, said Marsda Daryatmo, head of the search and rescue agency. Two helicopters were immediately sent out to search for the plane but had to return to their bases due to strong winds and unpredictable weather.

The Sukhoi jet arrived in Jakarta as part of a demonstration tour of six Asian countries. It had been to Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, and was due to visit Laos and Vietnam after Indonesia, said the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Sukhoi manufactures military aircraft and is known especially for its fighter jets. Its civilian aircraft is narrow-bodied with a dual-class cabin that can transport 100 passengers over regional routes. It flew its maiden flight in 2008.

In March, a Superjet 100 operated by Russia's Aeroflot Airlines was forced to abandon its flight to Astrakhan, Russia, and return to Moscow because of problems with the undercarriage, according to RIA Novosti.

A similar defect in another Aeroflot-operated Superjet 100 plane had to be fixed in Minsk in December.

Russia's state-run United Aircraft Corp. said the defect did not affect passenger safety.

CNN's Kathy Quiano contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT