A rescue team will wait until Friday to recover the bodies of victims of the Sukhoi plane crash in the foothills of Mt. Salak, due to the difficult terrain around the scene.
“We plan to carry out the evacuation manually on Friday. The process will likely take a long time because the number of victims reaches up to around 50,” National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) coordinator Ketut Purwa said in Cijeruk, Bogor, West Java.
There was reportedly 45 passengers onboard the Russia-made Sukhoi Super Jet 100, although the true number has not been revealed.
The plane fell off radar screens Wednesday afternoon and was found at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, at a height of 1,680 meters, in the foothills of Mt. Salak in Cidahu, Sukabumi, West Java.
The plane was found to have suffered “major damages”.
A rescue team that has reached the scene said they have found bodies in the wreckage, but has yet to identify them.
Ketut said the crash site was near an extremely steep hiking track that only one person could pass through, and that it takes five hours to get there from Cijeruk.
According to Bogor’s Surya Kencana Military Resort Commander Col. (Inf.) A.M. Putranto, the rescue team includes members of the Indonesian Military, the National Police, the Indonesian Red Cross and locals, making up a total of 711 personnel divided into 30 groups.
He said the rescue team would continue to search for victims.
Meanwhile, Abidin, head of the Indonesian Red Cross’ Bogor branch, said his office had prepared 15 ambulances and 100 body bags for corpses. (mtq)