Rescuers Recover Bodies From Russian SuperJet Crash In Indonesia

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The wreckage of a Russian passenger plane that disappeared while on a promotional flight has been found on the slopes of an Indonesian volcano, Russian television news reported.

Rescuers have recovered some of the 50 bodies who were on board the brand new Sukhoi SuperJet 100 aircraft, which crashed shortly after takeoff on Wednesday.

We haven't found any survivors, said Gagah Prakoso, spokesman for the national search and rescue agency, according to al-Arabiya.

We entered the area... and found dead bodies, but we cannot say about the number, said Prakoso.

Bad weather is also hampering efforts to evacuate the bodies by helicopter.

The evacuation is still difficult. By land we'll need 12 hours and by helicopter it would take only 20 minutes but the weather is impossible, Prakoso said.

We are preparing a helipad so that tomorrow morning with clear weather we can evacuate them.

The Russian-made passenger plane, loaded with journalists, airline executives and Russian Embassy officials, vanished from radar screens on Wednesday during a demonstration flight near a volcano in West Java, Indonesia.

The plane -- a Sukhoi SuperJet 100, the first new Russian passenger plane built in more than 20 years -- disappeared from radar screens at 2:50 p.m. local time after descending to 6,000 feet, near the 7,000-feet Mount Salak.

The SuperJet 100 was meant to mark Russia's re-emergence onto the international passenger airline scene, as the country's manufacturers attempted to shake off a reputation for poor safety.

The aircraft was in Indonesia as part of a Welcome Asia demonstration tour set to include countries from Pakistan to Vietnam.

I saw a big plane passing just over my house, Juanda, a villager who lives near Mount Salak, told local station TVOne, according to MSNBC.

It was veering a bit to one side, the engine roaring. It seemed to be heading toward Salak, but I didn't hear an explosion or anything.

The fateful flight was the second of the day, with an earlier demonstration passing off smoothly.

The SuperJet was developed by Sukhoi in partnership with Italy's Finmeccanica and was aimed at challenging similar short-to-mid-range, 100-seater aircraft from manufacturers such as Brazil's Embraer and Canada's Bombardier.

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