Pilot of Bombed Plane: Somali Security Is 'Zero'

He also hopes it will be his last bomb
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 7, 2016 11:08 AM CST
Pilot of Bombed Plane: Somali Security Is 'Zero'
In this Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 file photo, a hole in a plane operated by Daallo Airlines as it sits on the runway of the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia.   (AP Photo, File)

The Serb pilot who landed a jetliner in Somalia with a large hole on its fuselage says he has never doubted that it was caused by a bomb and describes the security at Mogadishu Airport as "zero." After initially saying there was no sign of foul play, Somali officials said Saturday that a suicide bomber is suspected to have set off the explosive inside the plane, reports the AP. They said the blast sucked a male passenger out of the plane and forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing Tuesday in Somalia's capital. "The security is zero. When we park there, some 20 to 30 people come to the tarmac," said Vlatko Vodopivec, a veteran pilot who has made numerous flights to the airport. "No one has a badge or those yellow vests. They enter and leave the plane, and no one knows who is who ... They can put anything inside when passengers leave the aircraft."

Vodopivec blamed the incident on the lack of security at Mogadishu Airport, describing the facility as "chaotic." He said that Somali investigators initially tried to put the blame on his airline company. "It was my first bomb; I hope it will be the last," Vodopivec told the AP by phone from Mogadishu. He said the blast happened when the plane was at around 11,000 feet and still climbing to its cruising altitude of 30,000 feet. "It would have been much worse if we were higher," he added. (Read more Mogadishu stories.)

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