What many believe to have been a bomb exploded yesterday on a commercial airliner, an Airbus A321, flying from Mogadishu to Djibouti. The pilots landed the plane safely, which was reportedly in flames and surrounded by smoke, after declaring an emergency and returning to the Somali capital.
The aircraft involved was operated by Somali-owned Daallo Airlines. Several individuals were injured, but one passenger was killed. Daallo Airlines issued a statement wherein it said it “would like to confirm the incident,” which is an interesting angle given that several passenger videos taken at the time would make it difficult to deny the incident. But perhaps more interestingly, and tragically, the statement also reads, in part, that “all passengers, except one, disembarked safely.”
Clearly one passenger disembarked in an unsafe manner. And, it seems pretty clear (even without considering the gory eyewitness accounts of his sudden and fiery departure) that the one missing passenger was sucked through the rather large hole in the side of the plane. Nonetheless, the statement goes on to say that “investigations are underway to ascertain the cause of one missing passenger.” Let’s hope that Daallo Airlines’ investigation skills are stronger than its PR skills. But kudos to the pilots for getting the plane on the ground safely.