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Suicide Bomber May Have Caused Explosion In Somali Jet

The explosion was not enough to destroy the airplane — but it reportedly sent the alleged bomber plunging toward the earth.

Posted on February 4, 2016, at 5:46 p.m. ET

Stringer / AP

The explosion that forced a passenger jet to make an emergency landing in Somalia earlier this week may have been caused by a suicide bomber, sources familiar with the investigation told CNN and the Wall Street Journal.

The Daallo Airlines airplane was scheduled to fly on Tuesday from Mogadishu in Somalia to the city of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, but had to turn back to the airport just minutes after take-off after an explosion tore a hole through its fuselage. Two of the 75 passengers were injured.

A body believed to be a passenger was later found 20 miles away from the airport. Investigators now believe that the body belongs to the person who detonated the bomb, a source told the Journal.

The passenger reportedly boarded the aircraft on a wheelchair, which allowed the person to avoid security screening and bring a bomb aboard. The resulting explosion failed to bring down the jet. The blast, however, was enough to send the suicide bomber flying out of the cabin and plunging nearly 14,000 feet toward the earth.

No group has taken responsibility for the incident. The Somali government insists that the explosion was caused by a mechanical failure.