A passenger jet has safely made an emergency landing at Mogadishu’s international airport after an explosion pierced a large hole in its fuselage.

Two people were injured and unverified reports claim that a person may have fallen out of the hole during the incident, which occurred above Somalia. A policeman told the Associated Press that “residents [of a nearby town] had found the dead body of an old man who might have fallen from a plane.”

The explosion occurred during the takeoff phase of flight, and the craft had not yet reached 30,000 feet. The pilot of the Airbus A321 spoke to the newspaper Blic and explained:

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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.

Meanwhile, the AP reports that Somalia’s civil aviation authority has “found no evidence so far of a criminal act.” Aviation experts have told the news wire that the hole appears to be consistent with either a pressurization blowout or a bomb. The true cause remains unknown.

Investigators have relocated the aircraft to a private hangar where it is being inspected.

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[AP via Guardian (1) , AP via Guardian (2)]

Image by STR/AP