MOUNT SALAK, Indonesia - Search teams who scaled a volcano’s steep slopes found at least 12 bodies Friday near the wreckage of a Russian-made jetliner that crashed in Indonesia during a demonstration flight for potential buyers, an official said.
All 45 aboard the Sukhoi Superjet-100 that crashed Wednesday are feared dead.
“Today we have discovered 12 victims, all dead,’’ Rear Marshal Daryatmo, head of the national search and rescue agency, told reporters Friday.
Many of the bodies found Friday had been torn apart in the crash, said Lieutenant Colonel Oni Junianto of the Indonesian marines.
“We see many other victims . . . but the ravines and steep cliffs prevent us from reaching them,’’ Junianto said.
About 85 soldiers, police, and volunteers used ropes to climb up to the wreckage through jungle on the near-vertical slopes of Mount Salak, search and rescue agency spokesman Gagah Prakoso said by telephone.
The jet slammed into the volcano at nearly 480 miles per hour. Russian and French investigators have joined the investigation into the cause.
The Superjet-100 is Russia’s first new model passenger jet since the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago and was intended to help resurrect its aerospace industry.