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Bodies Retrieved from Indonesian Crash Site

Indonesian soldiers carry a victim of Wednesday's plane crash at Cijeruk in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, Saturday, May 12, 2012.
Search teams in Indonesia have begun retrieving the bodies of passengers who were on a jetliner that slammed into the side of a volcano Wednesday but the cause of the crash remains a mystery.

Family members of victims gathered at a Jakarta hospital on Saturday as remains of victims arrived in body bags.

Investigators believe there were no survivors after the Russian-made jet carrying at least 45 passengers crashed into the nearly vertical cliff of Mount Salak.

Officials say the pilot of the doomed Sukhoi Superjet 100 had taken off from Jakarta on a promotional tour that included prospective buyers of the aircraft.

Search teams at the jungle crash site have found no signs of the jet's black box recorder which may shed light on the cause of the crash.

However, the French news agency says Indonesia's transport ministry has confirmed that a Jakarta control tower gave the pilot permission to descend from 3,000 to 1,800 meters,.

There has been no explanation of why the Russian pilot requested the altitude drop. The plane disappeared from radar shortly after the request and slammed into the volcano, which is 2,200 meters in elevation.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is currently used by Russia's largest carrier, Aeroflot, and the Armenian carrier, Armavia.