A person was sucked out of a plane flying at 14,000 feet after a hole was blasted on the side of the fuselage, just a few minutes after takeoff. Witnesses claim the body of an elderly man fell down to earth 15 miles from Mogadishu Airport. There were two people hurt in the blast, which made a hole 6 feet by 3 feet wide in the Airbus A321.
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The Daallo Airlines flight was flying from Mogadishu to Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. The pilot Vladimir Vodopivec from Serbia suspects that it was a bomb. The flight controls were not damaged, and he was able to safely land in Somalia. Initial tests have shown explosive residue, which is an indicator that it may have been a terrorist attack.
Somalia’s alternate ambassador to the United Nations, Awale Kullane, was on board the flight, and he said he “heard a loud noise and couldn’t see anything but smoke for a few seconds.” When the air cleared, they realized that a piece of the aircraft was missing.
Kullane was going to Djibouti to attend a conference for diplomats. He was able to post a video which showed some passengers putting on oxygen masks inside the plane.
Another passenger, Mohamed Ali, told the press that they heard a bang before flames blasted a hole in the plane’s side.
The explosion happened a few minutes after the plane’s ascent. Video shows that the passengers remained calm after the explosion.
A police officer in Balad town Mohamed Hassan said that residents found the body of an old man who might have fallen from the plane. Balad is a town about 18 miles north of Mogadishu.
In Somalia, there is an extremist group al-Shabab, which is responsible for attacks across the nation.
The aviation authorities have suggested that the flight was delayed, leaving Mogadishu, and so the bomb went off at a lower altitude, which gave the passengers a greater chance of survival.
Former member of the US National Transportation Safety Board said that only a bomb or a pressurization blowout could make such a hole in the side of the aircraft. The black soot around the hole would indicate a bomb blast.