Burning plane passenger ‘sucked out through explosion hole mid-flight’ as police find charred body

Burning plane passenger 'sucked out through explosion hole mid-flight' as police find charred body
A burning man was sucked out of the explosion hole blasted in a plane's fuselage at 14,000ft, according to reports.

The mystery blast tore through Daallo Airlines Flight D3159 shortly after it left Mogadishu airport, ripping a gaping fissure in the side of the aircraft.

An unidentified elderly man, engulfed in flames, was said to have been dragged through the gap by the air pressure.

Eyewitnesses on the ground reported seeing a charred body fall to plunge from the sky.

Last night a source told CNN Somali authorities confirmed one passenger had been blown or ejected out of the hole created by the explosion.

VOAExplosion: A huge hole was blasted in the side of the plane
Somalia's National News Agency also reported one passenger died after falling from the plane.

Read more: Plane explosion may have been terror attack foiled by flight delay

Mohamed Hassan, a police officer, said the corpse of an old man was found in Balad - 18 miles north of Mogadishu.

The pilot of the plane thinks the explosion was caused by a bomb - but so far authorities say they have found no evidence of a criminal act.

Aviation sources say the aircraft was delayed leaving Somalia on route to Djibouti.

This means any potential bomb on board, if set to a timer, exploded at a lower altitude giving passengers a better chance surviving the blast.

The ill-fated flight caught fire just five minutes after taking off from Aden Adde International Airport.

Airport officials say everyone on board survived the incident - although Somali authorities say they found a body which may have fallen from the plane.

Vladimir Vodopivec, 64, the plane's Serbian pilot, told Blic : "I think it was a bomb.

"Luckily, the flight controls were not damaged so I could return and land at the airport. Something like this has never happened in my flight career.

"We lost pressure in the cabin. Thank god it ended well."

A source told CNN initial tests show explosive residue indicating the aircraft may have been the victim of a terrorist attack.

Passengers on the flight are now being quizzed.
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