TNI dismisses Sukhoi hijack rumors
Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Adm. Agus Suhartono is dismissing suggestions in the Russian media that the Sukhoi Superjet 100 had been hijacked before it crashed on Wednesday.
“It’s not true [that the aircraft was hijacked],” he said Friday after getting off a Singaporean warship, RSS Resolution 208, at Batu Ampar Port, Riau Islands.
He was in Batam to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Indonesia-Singapore coordinated patrols.
“I presumed that [the accident] happened because of the weather factors or [the pilot’s] lack of knowledge about the terrain, given that the location of the plane crash is situated on a cliff,” he said.
Agus said he had yet to receive any information supporting the rumors that the aircraft was hijacked.
He also said the TNI would go ahead with its plan to buy six more of Russia-made Sukhoi fighter jets to strengthen the Air Force’s squadron despite the accident.
The aircraft, which carried 45 passengers onboard, crashed into in the foothills of Mt. Salak Cidahu on Wednesday and was found at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday.
As rescue and recovery efforts are still underway, the cause of the Russia-made aircraft’s crash remains unclear. (mtq)