An explosion and fire blew a gaping hole in a commercial airliner forcing it to make an emergency landing at Mogadishu’s international airport, officials and witnesses said. An explosion rocked a plane after it set off above East Africa on Tuesday, injuring two people before the pilot landed safely. Passengers on a Daallo Airlines flight are being quizzed after a mystery explosion blasted a gaping hole in the plane while it was thousands of feet in the air.
Flight D3159 from Somalia to Djibouti apparently caught fire minutes after taking off from Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu. Incredibly, the pilot managed to perform an emergency landing after the blast, which police are treating as 'suspicious'. It was met on the tarmac by emergency crews, who were shocked to see a massive hole in the fuselage on the aircraft's right hand side. Pictures from the ground showed a hole in one side of the airliner, just above its wing and slightly smaller than one of its doors.
Remarkably, airport officials say everyone onboard survived the incident. However, at least two people suffered minor injuries - and some locals have seen a severely burned body falling from the sky in the area. Somali authorities later discovered a body near Mogadishu they believe fell from the Daallo Airlines plane. Somalia's National News Agency reported that one passenger died after falling from the plane.
A spokesman for Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke didn't immediately indicate a bomb had gone off mid-flight, echoing a Daallo Airlines worker in saying "the incident is under investigation". Daallo CEO Mohammed Ibrahim Yassin told that it was too early to say what caused the explosion. "Nothing is certain," he said. He acknowledged that some people believed there was a bomb. "The Civil Aviation (Authority) thinks differently." If this was a bomb, no group immediately took responsibility.