Mogadishu — Authorities in Somalia are investigating a blast on an airplane that ripped a hole in the fuselage through which one passenger was sucked and plunged to his death.
The incident occurred a few minutes after Daallo Airlines Flight A321 to Djibouti took off from Mogadishu Airport, forcing it to return to the Somali capital where it made an emergency landing.
Officials in Balad, a town 35km north of Mogadishu, said they were holding a body of a man who they suspect fell from the plane after the blast.
"We failed to identify the body because he had no special marks and carried no identifications," Mr Mohamoud Mohamed Ahmed alias Saneey, the district commissioner of Balad, said.
Locals who found the body said the man had fallen from the plane on its way back to Mogadishu and that they had seen flames on the affected side of the aircraft.
Passengers who talked to the media at Mogadishu's Adan Abdulle International Airport confirmed reports of a blast.
Two other passengers sustained minor injuries in the incident, witnesses said.
Airport officials have not released details on the incident and it was not immediately clear what had caused the blast.
Al-Shabaab militants opposed to the government routinely carry out attacks in Somalia but the country's aviation industry is also poorly regulated and many of the airlines operate ageing fleets.