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Sandi said he hoped a ground team of 85 rescue workers using ropes to climb the mountain might reach the wreckage Friday. The jet slammed into the volcano Wednesday at nearly 800 kph (480 mph), raining debris down the slope.

He said communications with the ground team were difficult and it was still unclear what the climbers would find, given the possibility that much of the wreckage and possibly bodies had tumbled down the near-vertical slope.

Local television station TVOne reported that some rescuers have arrived on the scene and discovered some remnants of the plane but had so far found no survivors. All 45 aboard are feared dead.

The Sukhoi Superjet-100 is Russia's first new model of passenger jet since the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago and was supposed to kick-start the nation's efforts to modernize its fleet and resurrect its neglected aerospace industry.
Barclaysli Barclaysli
22-25, F
May 11, 2012