Pilots of the Daallo Airlines Airbus A321 which suffered an in-flight explosion after departing Mogadishu initially cited a pressurisation issue but did not declare an emergency.

French investigation authority BEA has disclosed initial details of the 2 February incident, citing preliminary information from Somali counterparts.

It states that flight D3159 to Djibouti had been cleared by Mogadishu tower controllers to climb to 30,000ft, giving the time of this instruction at 08:40UTC.

“The flight crew reported [a] pressurisation problem and requested to return to land, according to the captain, who didn’t declare emergency,” it adds.

Investigators believe the aircraft was climbing through a height of around 12,000ft at the time.

Tower controllers cleared the A321 to conduct a priority landing and alerted emergency services. The aircraft landed safely at 08:53UTC, says BEA.

“When the aircraft exited the active runway the flight crew requested medical assistance and tower advised the airport operator to arrange for a medical unit,” it adds.

One occupant of the aircraft is suspected to have been ejected through the rupture in the fuselage caused by the explosion. The Somali transport minister has reportedly attributed the damage to a bomb.

Source: Cirium Dashboard