Video and still photos of an A321 that made an emergency landing shortly after take-off yesterday shows a large, gaping hole in the fuselage that appears to indicate a bomb went off inside the plane.
The aircraft was flown by Daallo Airlines, the national airline of Somalia. It had just taken off from Mogadishu International Airport carrying 74 passengers and crew when passengers heard a loud bang and saw smoke.
Here’s the video:
The hole appears to be consistent with an explosion inside the plane. Once the fuselage was holed, the plane immediately lost all cabin pressure. Oxygen masks deployed and can be seen hanging down in the video. The passengers moved to seats as far away from the hole as possible.
Daallo Airlines said on its Facebook page its A321 had “experienced an incident shortly after takeoff”.
You can say that again.
“The aircraft landed safely and all our passengers were evacuated safely,” the statement said.
“A thorough investigation is being conducted by Somalia Civil Aviation Authority.”
The hole in the plane’s fuselage extended from ceiling to floor and two passengers were slightly injured, according to reports. Security experts said the explosion appeared to be about hand-grenade size.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has simple travel advice for Australians thinking of visiting Somalia: Just don’t.
“We continue to advise you not to travel to any part of Somalia because of armed conflict, the ongoing very high threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping, and dangerous levels of violent crime,” DFAT states.
“Mogadishu International Airport, where there is a large presence of westerners, remains a high priority target for extremists.”
Written by Peter Needham