Six people were killed Monday when an African Express Airways Embraer E-120 carrying medical supplies crashed at Bardale town, Somalia after it was allegedly shot down.
The Kenyan registered aircraft, 5Y-AXO, with two pilots and four passengers all died. It was landing at Bardale town to deliver medical supplies.
Somali Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation confirmed the incident stating that it happened around 3.30 pm local time.
“The incident occurred under unclear circumstances. The aircraft had been and was supporting humanitarian operations during this Covid-19 pandemic period,” the Ministry said in a statement issued Tuesday.
BREAKING A cargo plane shot down in Berdale, South West State Somalia by Ethiopian military.
All 6 on board said killed including 2 Kenyan pilots.
African Airways is a Kenyan aviation company that has been operating cargo and passenger flights to Somalia in last three decades.
— Rashid Abdi (@RAbdiCG) May 4, 2020
“The E120 was flying at 2,294 ft when hit by an object, about 3 minutes away from landing at Bardale airstrip, according to a source. Two pilots, a flight engineer and three others were killed in the incident,” Harun Maruf, VOA journalist tweeted.
Latest pictures from Bardale plane incident pic.twitter.com/Ob1zGefAI2
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) May 4, 2020
However, Somalia’s Secretary-General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin said ‘Ethiopian forces hit the plane mistakenly’.
According to local security officials, a rocket-propelled grenade brought down a light Kenyan-registered aircraft with 6 crew while landing in Bardaale town in Bay region #Somalia.
2 Kenyan pilots & 4 #Somali nationals are dead. #Ethiopian forces hit the plane mistakenly. pic.twitter.com/zbai0gyMI8
— Abdalle Ahmed Mumin (@Cabdalleaxmed) May 4, 2020