Mogadishu: A commercial airliner has made an emergency landing at Mogadishu’s international airport after passengers heard a loud bang and a fire broke out on board, leaving a gaping hole in the fuselage.
One man was sucked out of the plane and two people were slightly injured. The remaining 74 passengers and crew of the Airbus A321 were evacuated after the plane made a safe landing on Tuesday afternoon, Somali aviation official Ali Mohamoud said on Wednesday.
Intl Avion de DalloAirlines sufre emergencia y aterriza en Somalia, se le hizo hueco a fuselaje 2heridos (2 fotos) pic.twitter.com/0ykSa0nWZE
— Mi DIARIO (@midiariozulia) February 2, 2016
Mohamed Hassan, a police officer in nearby Balad town, said residents had found a dead body of an old man who they believed had fallen from the Airbus A321.
Local authorities in the Balcad area, about 30 kilometres north of Mogadishu, confirmed the body of the man, believed to have been sucked out of the plane, was found in the area.
A police officer at Mogadishu airport said, “The dead body of the passenger is being transported to Mogadishu.” The officer, who asked not to be named, told Reuters that the man was about 55 years old.
“He dropped when the explosion occurred in the plane,” he said.
The plane, operated by Daallo Airlines, was en route to Djibouti in the Horn of Africa when it was forced to land minutes after taking off from Mogadishu airport, Mr Mohamoud said.
Daallo Airline plane heading 2 Djibouti catches fire 5 mints afta taking off frm the airport in Mogadishu, 2 injured pic.twitter.com/eGuHLvjnEZ
— Goobjoog News. (@Goobjoognews) February 2, 2016
One of the plane’s passengers Mohamed Ali said that they heard a bang before flames opened a gaping hole in the plane’s side.
“I don’t know if it was a bomb or an electric shock, but we heard a bang inside the plane,” he said.
There was no immediate explanation of the explosion from the airline or Somali government officials.
“Daallo airline was enroute to Djibouti but it landed shortly after it took off. A fire exploded and two passengers were slightly wounded,” Mohamed Hussein, an agent for Daallo Airlines, the operator of the flight, said.
Aviation website http://www.airlive.net said the explosion occurred on flight D3159, an Airbus A321.
Daallo flies to several destinations in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East, its website showed.
Somalia faces an insurgency perpetrated by the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which is responsible for many deadly attacks across the nation.