'Burning Man' Reportedly Sucked Through Hole In Plane After Explosion At 14,000 Feet Over Mogadishu

A body has been found after reports of a man "engulfed in flames" being sucked out of a plane over Somalia after an explosion ripped a hole in its side.

The charred body of a man was reportedly seen falling out of the flight after a suspected bomb ripped a hole in the aircraft on Tuesday.

Eyewitnesses on the ground claim they saw a "badly burned body of an elderly man" fall to Earth after the explosion on Daallo Airlines Flight D3159, which was travelling to Djibouti on the Horn of Africa from Somalia.

Unverified reports say an unidentified elderly man, engulfed in flames, was sucked out after the blast around five minutes after take-off, the Daily Mail reports.

Harun Maruf, a journalist for Voice of America who is in Mogadishu, tweeted: "a 60 yr-old male ejected on impact/sucked out and killed; body found in Bal'ad w/ burns."

Mohamed Hassan, a police officer in nearby town of Balad about 18 miles north of Mogadishu, said residents had found the dead body of an old man who might have fallen from a plane, the Associated Press reported.

Video footage from inside the plane showed passengers remaining calm while the plane made its emergency landing in Mogadishu. The loud sound of air rushing through the hole in the plane can be clearly heard.

Frightening footage of Daallo flight

Frightening footage inside a Daallo Airlines plane flying with a hole in its side after it caught fire thousands of feet in the air. Somali authorities have confirmed one passenger was sucked out of the hole created by the explosion. Video uploaded by Amb Awale Kullane. The Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti was still able to land safely in Somalia.

Posted by Chris Lynch on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Somali aviation officials told the AP two passengers were injured and that they could not confirm the reports of a passenger falling out.

The explosion took place as the plane approached 14,000 feet, before it had reached cruising altitude.

"I think it was a bomb," said the pilot, Vladimir Vodopivec to Belgrade daily Blic. "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."

An aviation expert who looked at photographs of the hole said the damage was consistent with an explosive device.

Seventy-four people left the plane after it made a safe emergency landing, but it is not clear if all the passengers were accounted for, the Telegraph reported.

Awale Kullane, Somalia's deputy ambassador to the UN who was on board the flight, said on Facebook that he "heard a loud noise and couldn't see anything but smoke for a few seconds." When visibility returned they realised "quite a chunk" of the plane was missing, he wrote.

A source told CNN initial tests showed residue indicating the aircraft may have been the victim of a terrorist attack.

Somalia faces an insurgency perpetrated by the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which is responsible for many deadly attacks across the nation.