Explosion on Daallo flight; one passenger ejected from aircraft

A scheduled Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti with 74 passengers and 7 crew on board yesterday suffered an explosion on board while climbing through FL (short for Flight Level) 100 just 5 minutes after takeoff.

The Airbus A321-100, manufacturers production number MSN 642 of 1997 and registered as SX-BHS at the time of the incident, carried out a scheduled flight D3-159 from Somalia to Djibouti.

It has been confirmed that at least one passenger was ejected from the plane by the explosion onboard and several other passengers, including foreign nationals, suffered burns and other injuries.

The cockpit crew managed to return the plane to the ground where passengers were evacuated through regular stairs instead of by slides.

It is not clear right now if the explosion occurred through a device brought o board by a passenger or if an equipment malfunction was responsible. A team of investigators, including Airbus personnel, are en route to the Somali capital to help with the unfolding air accident enquiry.

UN and African Union ground troops, engaged in clearing the country from the Islamic militant terror group Al Shabaah, have in the recent past several times come under attack in Mogadishu and other locations across the country. Recent terror strikes against Mogadishu hotels by the terrorist group show that the country is far from safe at this moment in time.

Daallo Airlines is a private airline operating from Djibouti since 1991 and has been on the EU’s black list since 2009. The airline’s IATA code was given as D3 while the ICAO 3-letter code is DAO. The only previous incident known of was an attempted hijacking in November 2009 when passengers overpowered the 2 hijackers.