The wreckage of a Russian Sukhoi plane that went missing with 50 people on board was located by Indonesian authorities on Thursday. There was no indication of any survivors.
The Sukhoi Superjet 100, a new Russian-made civilian plane, disappeared from radar screens at 1:30 pm IST (14.30 local time), just 20 minutes after taking off from the Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta during a second demonstration flight for officials, journalists and potential buyers.
The rescue team spotted the aircraft on the edge of the cliff of Mount Salak at 5,500 feet (1,650 meters). There's still no word on the ill-fated flight's passengers.
"The airplane crashed at the edge of Salak mountain ... An investigation must be done immediately and thoroughly," Reuters quoted Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who spoke at a televised news conference.
A 41-year-old villager, Juanda, who lives in Tenjolaya district near Salak mountain, told the AFP over the phone that he was feeding his chickens when he heard a roar overhead.
"I looked up and saw a huge white plane moving unsteadily, just slightly below the mountain summit. It was still way above the trees but veering left and right, and then it disappeared," the AFP quoted Juanda as saying.
"I heard a sound like firecrackers, but I couldn't see it anymore," he added.
The aircraft made two demonstration flights on Wednesday. After the first demo, the flight returned to Halim Perdanakusuma airport, east of Jakarta. Some of the passengers got on the flight for the second demonstration.
Meanwhile, dozens of anxious family members were waiting all night at the airport for information. Those on board include eight Russian crew members and 42 representatives from at least four countries.
The Sukhoi 100 is Russia's first new passenger jet since the fall of the Soviet Union, and it was seen as the nation's best chance to reenter the international passenger plane market.
The demonstration was part of an Asian roadshow aimed at promoting the aircraft. It was due to fly on to Laos and Vietnam.