Pilot who landed jet in Somalia says security at airport is 'zero'

BELGRADE, Serbia -- The Serb pilot who landed a jetliner in Somalia with a three-foot hole on its fuselage said Sunday he never doubted that it was caused by a bomb and describes the security surround the airplane at Mogadishu Airport as "zero.

See Full Article

"

A suicide bomber is suspected to have set off the explosive inside the plane, Somali officials said Saturday. The blast sucked a male passenger out of the plane and forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing Tuesday in Somalia's capital, they said.

The explosion happened about 15 minutes after the plane, with 74 passengers on board, took off from the airport and was at 11,000 feet ascending toward 30,000 feet.

"If we were higher, the whole plane could have disintegrated after the explosion," said pilot Vlatko Vodopivec.

At a higher altitude, the hole in the fuselage might have caused more severe structural damage, he said.

Because the plane was at a lower altitude, he was able to land it safely, Vodopivec said. "The plane acted normally and we virtually returned normally. Engines and hydraulics worked normally.

"If it happened somewhere higher, the damage would have been bigger," he said. "If we were higher, the whole plane could have disintegrated."

The explosion killed one passenger, Abdullahi Abdisalam Borle, according to Somali officials who did not give further details. A man's body was found in the town of Balad, 30 kilometres (about 18 miles) north of Mogadishu, according to police who said he might have been blown from the plane.

Borle is suspected to have been the suicide bomber, the AP was told by a senior Somali civil aviation official, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press. Six people have been arrested in connection with the blast after examinations of CCTV images in the airport, a senior Somali intelligence official said.

The pilot blamed the incident on the lack of security around the plane at Mogadishu Airport, describing the facility as chaotic.

"The security is zero. When we park there, some 20 to 30 people come to the tarmac," said Vodopivec, a veteran pilot who has made numerous flights to the airport. "No one has a badge or those yellow vests. They enter and leave the plane, and no one knows who is who ... They can put anything inside when passengers leave the aircraft."

Somalia's government has said it will tighten security at the airport to prevent other threats.

Somalia faces an insurgency from the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which has carried out deadly attacks in Somalia and neighbouring countries.

Daallo Airlines, which is based in Dubai, has temporarily suspended its operations in Somalia's capital following the incident but hopes to restart them soon, said Mohammed Ibrahim Yassin, the airline's chief executive.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Woman pleads guilty in slaying of another woman outside Vancouver nightclub [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VANCOUVER - A young woman who was charged in connection with the fatal attack of another woman outside a downtown Vancouver nightclub last year has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. During a brief appearance in Vancouver Provincial Court Wednesday, Samantha Nadine Doolan, 30, entered her plea in relation to the slaying of Lauren Lindsay McLellan, 28, near the Caprice Nightclub in the Granville entertainment district. Source
  • Video: Horrifying moment State Fair ride breaks apart, killing one and leaving seven more injured

    World News Toronto Sun
    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A swinging and spinning amusement park ride called the Fire Ball broke apart on the opening day of the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, hurling people through the air, killing at least one and injuring seven others. Source
  • His future clouded, Sessions opens mission to El Salvador

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions is flying to El Salvador to talk about gang violence, with his future as the nation's top prosecutor still in doubt. He left Thursday after a week of blistering public scorn from President Donald Trump about Sessions' performance. Source
  • N.S. police chief facing sex charges to appear in court

    Canada News CTV News
    BRIDGEWATER, N.S. - The case of a Nova Scotia police chief facing several sex charges involving a 17-year-old girl is due in court today. A lawyer for John Collyer was in Bridgewater provincial court last month when the case was adjourned for election and plea. Source
  • Foxconn plans massive $10B plant in Wisconsin to make LCD screens

    World News CBC News
    Electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion US factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history, U.S. President Donald Trump says. The announcement Wednesday came as the Trump administration, which had pledged to generate manufacturing jobs, struggled to deliver results as quickly as the president promised. Source
  • 'They ain't hurtin' nobody': N.S. man told to get rid of pet pigs

    Canada News CBC News
    Einstein and Winstin are "good boys." They like to play with their toys. They love apples and belly rubs. They used a litter box when they were little and slept in dog beds indoors. Noah Graves even bottle-fed the two Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs when they were tiny, squirming, snorting babies. Source
  • Toronto Islands set to reopen after severe spring flooding

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The waterlogged Toronto Islands will finally reopen to the public on July 31. The popular tourist destination and home to hundreds of city residents was virtually shut down in early May after flooding caused by rising water levels in Lake Ontario, brought on in part by heavy rains. Source
  • Muslim leaders tell faithful to return to Jerusalem shrine

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Muslim leaders told the faithful to return to pray inside a major Jerusalem holy site on Thursday after Israel removed security devices it installed outside entrances to the shrine following a deadly Palestinian attack at the compound. Source
  • Charges expected after woman dies on Alaska cruise ship

    World News CTV News
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Federal authorities planned to announce charges Thursday in what was described as a domestic dispute aboard a cruise ship in U.S. waters off Alaska that led to the death of a 39-year-old Utah woman. Source
  • Inmates' escape video shows everything is caught on tape

    World News CTV News
    SANTA ANA, Calif. -- In an age when everything else is captured for public consumption on a smartphone, why not your own jailbreak? Inmates who broke out of the maximum-security wing of a Southern California jail last year did just that with a smuggled cellphone and through an attorney released it to the public Wednesday, complete with glossy voiceover from one of the convicts. Source