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Rediff.com  » News » Russian plane goes missing in Indonesia, 44 people aboard

Russian plane goes missing in Indonesia, 44 people aboard

May 09, 2012 20:13 IST
A Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 with at least 44 people aboard disappeared from radar scenes during a half-hour demonstration flight in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta on Wednesday.

The plane went missing at about 2 pm (local time) in the area of Bogor, West Java, said Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan.

The pilots requested permission to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet, air traffic controllers said. After that, all radio contact was lost, reported the CNN.

By the time the plane was due to return it should have burned up its fuel, state-run RIA Novosti news service said.

Ria Novosti states that a high-altitude crash or possible hijacking have not been ruled out by officials.

A team of around 200 police, military and rescue workers were headed in vehicles and on foot towards Salak mountain where the plane went missing. A helicopter was sent earlier, but it returned because it was getting dark and raining, said Gagah Prakoso, spokesman for the national search and rescue agency.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 airplane 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.

Image: A video grab shows the Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100, which went off the radar after a demonstration flight in Indonesia