Gov’t probes crash of light aircraft in south Somalia

The government will launch into investigation into an aircraft incident which claimed lives of six people on board.

In a statement, Somali ministry for Civil Aviation identified the aircraft as an Embraer 120, operated by African Express based in Nairobi.

The accident at around 15:30pm local time in Bardale town of Baay region in southern Somalia.

The Captain of the plane, Hassan Musa Bulhan, along with his co-pilot Mabruk Islam were operating the ill-fated aircraft.

It was deep regret that the ministry civil aviation to confirm an Embraer 120 aircraft, operated by African Express involved in accident. The aircraft was operating as a cargo flight from Baidoa to Bardale towns,” the ministry said, “The aircraft involved in the accident, registered as 5y-AXO was manufactured by Embraer with serial number 259, from production line on 27 July 1983.”

The ministry said the government was conducting thorough investigation and would publish the finding in timely manner.

‘RPG fired’

According to sources, E120 aircraft was just in preparation of landing at Bardale Airstrip when it exploded, leading death of all people onboard.

According to Kenya based Website, the plane was hit by an RPG mistakenly fired by Ethiopian forces based in the town but couldn’t authoritatively have confirmed that.

Berdale Airport and the surrounding locations are manned by Ethiopian troops under AMISOM.

The victims include two pilots, a flight engineer and three others.

In the statement, the ministry extended condolences to the families and friends of the victims killed in the accident.

Kenya calls for investigation

Kenya foreign ministry has called on Somalia, global agencies to investigate a Kenyan aircraft supporting humanitarian aid was shot down over Bardale on Monday.

Sources say the plane was chartered by an NGO and was transporting medical supplies to Bardale town of Somalia’s Baay region.

Gov’t dispatches team

Somalia Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Mohamed A Salad Omaar will today travel to Bardale to assess and get firsthand information from the site.

The Minister said his team with investigators will travel to recover the black box.

He underscored that the black box would help the ministry and the investigators to get critical information on the last moments before the crash.

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