East African Express Airways Embraer 120RT plane is shot down
The Embraer EMB-120 operated by East African Express Airways took off from Mogadishu, the capital and most populous city of Somalia, for a charter freight flight. It made an intermediate stop in Baidoa, Somalia, and took off again to Berdale, Somalia. 3 passengers and 3 crewmembers were onboard. The plane was shot down while on approach to its final destination. The Embraer subsequently crashed and burst into flames. All the 6 occupants were killed.
The plane was carrying a load of medical supplies. On board were a captain, copilot, flight engineer and a trainee pilot, and two people working for the airline. The aircraft was approaching Baidoa and was at an altitude of about 2200 feet, about 3 minutes prior to landing and about 3NM (5km) before the airport when it was hit by a projectile. Reports indicates the projectile was a rocket propelled grenade launched from the area of Berdale. The plane plummeted and violently impacted ground.
The Ethiopian troops at Berdale admitted they shot down the aircraft on mistaken identity. They said they were not informed about the arrival of the cargo flight, and that the aircraft was flying out of the usual site repeatedly closer to the ground. The troops suspected the plane was a suicide attack looking for a target. The Ethiopian troops decided to shoot it down.
The area of Berdale has been plagued by civil war for several years.
Since year 2000, 7 commercial or transport planes have been voluntary or mistakenly shot by missiles. Watch here the list of those airplanes shot by missiles since year 2000.