On 4th May, an African Express Airways Embraer E-120 Brasilia (Kenyan registered as 5Y-AXO) was operating a domestic flight between Mogadishu and Baidoa, Somalia. During the flight, above Bardale, the aircraft was shot down, allegedly by a rocket missile.
It is reported that Ethiopian forces were not aware that the plane was due to land in the town, leading to this accidental downing of the plane and killing of those on board. Two pilots and four passengers who were in the aircraft all died.
The crash was confirmed by Somali Minister for Transport Hassan Hussein Mohamed who said two of the passengers who perished in the crash are Somalis. The aircraft was chartered by an NGO and was transporting medical supplies and mosquito nets.
African Express is owned by Captain Musa Hassan Bulhan, a career pilot and one of the pioneer aviation entrepreneurs in Kenya. Captain Bulhan is known to be one of the first Africans to own an aircraft on the continent.
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