Video of Aftermath of Hole Blasted in Fuselage of Airplane During Flight; Passenger Confirmed Missing
“F light D3 159 SX.BHS A321, operated by Hermes airlines departed from Mogadishu Airport bound for Djibouti on Feb 2, 2016 carrying 74 passengers experienced an incident shortly after take-off. The Aircraft landed safely and all of our passengers were evacuated safely. A thorough investigation is being conducted by Somalia Civil Aviation Authority” is the statement posted at the official Facebook Internet web site of DAALLO Airlines.
The incident was that a hole was blown out of the side of the fuselage of the Airbus A321-111 aircraft at an altitude of approximately 11,000 feet as the result of an explosion while the airplane was still ascending to its cruising altitude of 30,000 feet; but the exact cause of that explosion is still unknown at this time. Despite the original assertion that all passengers evacuated safely, one male passenger was reportedly sucked out of the airplane through that hole; and the body found by residents of Balad — a town located approximately 18 miles north of Mogadishu — might be the man in question.
Video of Hole Blasted in Fuselage
The following video shows what the interior of the airplane looked like after the explosion occurred:
Official Statement Revised
The aforementioned statement was superseded by this official press release from DAALLO Airlines:
DAALLO Airlines would like to confirm the incident with one of its aircraft A321 during a scheduled flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti on 2nd February 2016. According to the information received from Mogadishu Airport, the flight was approximately 15 minutes in the air when the incident happened which caused a hole in the fuselage. However, pilots managed to land the aircraft back to Mogadishu Airport safely and without any further incident. All passengers, except one, disembarked safely after aircraft landed at the airport and currently investigations are underway to ascertain the cause of one missing passenger. Two passengers have been reported to have suffered minor injuries and they were taken to the hospital for treatment.
The incident is currently being investigated by Civil Aviation authority in Mogadishu as well as technical team of aircraft owners Hermes Airlines, Greece in close coordination with Civil Aviation Authority, Greece and aircraft manufacturers Airbus.
DAALLO Airlines is operating in the region for more than 25 years with excellent safety record and without any fatality. DAALLO Airlines takes security and safety of its passengers very seriously and would like to assure that its all aircraft (owned and leased) are registered/maintained under EASA (European Union) regulations and are being operated by highly qualified and experienced pilots from Europe.
In addition to the 74 passengers, seven members of the flight crew were also aboard the airplane.
A “low-tech bomb” is speculated to have been detonated aboard the airplane — although the possibility that a bomb planted on the aircraft was responsible for the incident has not been ruled out — and no evidence has been found at this point that a criminal act had been committed. Additionally, no one has claimed responsibility for the incident; and whether or not the incident is related to terrorism remains unknown at this time.
According to this article written by Abdi Guled and Dusan Stojanovic for the Associated Press, had the explosion occurred at a higher altitude, it could have led to explosive decompression on the airplane, which might have caused more severe structural damage to the aircraft; and would have forced a more rapid descent because of limited supplies of oxygen to the passengers.
“It was my first bomb; I hope it will be the last,” Vlatko Vodopivec — the pilot of the airplane for the ill-fated flight — reportedly told the Associated Press via telephone from Mogadishu after he was informed with an unconfirmed report that the cause of the explosion was a bomb.
About the Airplane and DAALLO Airlines
The Airbus A321-111 aircraft was operated by Hermes Airlines — based in Athens, Greece — whose main business is leasing its fleet of at least six airplanes to other carriers which are staffed and serviced by its crew to other carriers.
DAALLO Airlines — launched in 1991 in Djibouti — is an airline based at Dubai Airport Free Zone in the United Arab Emirates. With its main hub at the Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport, the airline operates scheduled services to at least ten destinations located in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. This incident is the third one in its relatively brief history in commercial aviation.