Mid Air Explosion Kills One, Injures Two Aboard Somali Passenger Plane
An explosion believed to be caused by a bomb onboard a Somali passenger plane has killed one and injured two.
The explosion ripped a hole in the side of the aircraft, sucking one burning passenger out of the plane and injuring two others, before the pilot successfully landed the airliner. Witnesses on the ground later reported seeing a burning body falling from the plane, which was later found near Mogadishu.
Suspected bomb attack
Although initial reports suggested the explosion was not caused by a bomb, it has since been confirmed that authorities are dealing with this as a suspicious case. The pilot who successfully landed the plane after the explosion ripped a hole in the fuselage told a Belgrade newspaper he thought it was caused by a bomb.
“I think it was a bomb,” the Serbian pilot said. “Luckily, the flight controls were not damaged so I could return and land at the airport. Something like this has never happened in my flight career. We lost pressure in the cabin. Thank god it ended well.”
Former US National Transportation Safety member and aviation expert, John Goglia, confirmed his own suspicions: “We don’t know a lot, but certainly it looks like a device,” he said.
— Somalia Latest Photo (@somaliaphotos) February 2, 2016
One dead, two injured
Two passengers aboard the flight suffered minor injuries, but it wasn’t until later reports emerged of a death believed to be related to the incident. Multiple sources have now published accounts from eyewitnesses claiming they saw a burning body falling from the plane. Police have now confirmed that residents found the charred body of an elderly man in Balad town, 18 miles north of Mogadishu where the plane landed.
An investigation is underway and it can’t yet be confirmed whether the explosion came from a device, as part of a terrorist attack. No group has claimed responsibility at this stage either, although Al-Shabaab is renowned for executing fatal attacks in the country. Some sources have already claimed residue from the explosion indicates a bomb attack and damage to the plane’s fuselage suggests the same.