Thursday 21 September 2017

Fears for 50 people as Russian plane lost in Indonesia

Relatives weep as they wait for the news on a missing Russian airplane at Halim Perdanakusumah airport in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Associated Press
Relatives weep as they wait for the news on a missing Russian airplane at Halim Perdanakusumah airport in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Associated Press

Tom Parfitt in Moscow

A Russian plane carrying 50 people went missing over Indonesia yesterday during a demonstration flight for potential buyers in Indonesia.

Contact was lost with the Sukhoi Superjet 100 about 20 minutes after take-off in Jakarta. It disappeared from radar screens 40 miles from the city after requesting permission to descend from 10,000ft to 6,000ft.

Sergey Dolya, a blogger who had joined the tour but did not fly, wrote on Twitter that the plane had gone missing near Mount Salak, a 7,254ft volcano in west Java. The Superjet was on the fourth leg of a six-stage Asian sales tour.

There were five Russian crew on board, three Sukhoi staff and 42 foreign passengers, including representatives of Indonesian airlines.

Authorities said they could not rule out a hijack. Search and rescue teams were being hampered by bad weather.

"It's a mountainous area and that's complicating the search," said Mr Dolya.

If the plane has met a disaster it will be a terrible blow for Russian aviation, which is already reeling after a series of crashes in the past two years.

The jet on display in Jakarta had already completed one demonstration flight there. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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