Narrative:The pilot and first officer were carrying out pre-departure checks when loud explosion in the mid-section of the fuselage caused a fire. The aircraft was to be ferried to nearby Katunayake Airport to pick up passengers for a flight to Maldives.
Liberation Tigers claimed responsibility for explosion. However, there was also speculation that extremist Sinhalese may have planted bomb and were endeavouring to implicate Tamils to incite persecution by government authorities.
It was thought that the bomb was planted by two youths who remained on board the aircraft after it landed from Jaffna, debarking after flight attendants and all other passengers. They were reportedly sitting in area where bomb later exploded.
» Aircraft hijackings and other criminal acts against civil aviation : statistics and narrative reports / FAA
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Colombo-Ratmalana Airport to Colombo-Katunayake International Airport as the crow flies is 40 km (25 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.