12 bodies pulled from Sukhoi jet wreckage

May 11, 2012 at 8:03 AM   |   Comments

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JAKARTA, May 11 (UPI) -- Twelve bodies were pulled from the wreckage Friday of a Russian jet that crashed into a steep mountainside in Indonesia, officials said.

Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Russian President Vladimir Putin have opened a joint investigation to determine the cause of the crash, CNN said.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 disappeared from radar Wednesday. The wreckage was found along the side of Mount Salak, a volcano south of Jakarta.

RIA Novosti said it appears 45 people, including eight crew members, were on the plane when it crashed during a demonstration flight for Indonesian transportation officials and representatives of Indonesia's Sky Aviation. Initial reports put the number of people at 48 but RIA Novosti said three people on the passenger list did not board the plane.

Sky Aviation agreed last year to buy 12 Sukhoi Superjet 100s. The victims are believed to include a number of Sky and Sukhoi employees.

The jet was on a demonstration tour of six Asian countries.

RIA Novosti said simulator trials in Russia suggest pilot error was a likely factor in the accident, Izvestia daily reported on Friday. Other experts, however, say it is too soon to say what happened.

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