in Air Transport

Minister's appeal as Kenyan turboprop shot down in Somalia

Posted 5 May 2020 · Add Comment

Somalia’s transport minister has appealed for international help to investigate the crash of an Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprop carrying aid for the fight against Cornavirus killing all six on board.

The crash scene (Picture by Harun Maruf/Twitter) 

According to aviation risk company Osprey,  the aircraft belongs to Somali-owned Kenyan airline African Express Airways and was landing at Bardaale Airstrip when it was reportedly hit with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), allegedly fired by mistake by Ethiopian military forces controlling the installation as part of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
The state-run Somalia News Agency reported that the aircraft was scheduled to conduct a cargo flight carrying COVID-19 relief items from the airport in Mogadishu to Baidoa and then to Bardaale. However, details are still emerging as the situation remains fluid and subject to change rapidly.
Six people -- the pilot, copilot, flight engineer and a trainee pilot, as well as two people working for the airline -- were onboard, Transport Minister Mohamed Salad told news agency Reuters.
Five bodies have been recovered so far, he said.
Salad said he had sent a unit to investigate, but would welcome international assistance.
Both international and domestic commercial aviation flights to Mogadishu, the autonomous Puntland region and self-declared Somaliland Republic remain suspended until further notice. Red cross, humanitarian cargo, medevac, repatriation, emergency and military air activity are reportedly exempt.  

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