11 year old An Airbus A320 operated by local carrier Middle East Airlines (MEA) was on a short 40-minute flight from Amman in Jordan and was on the last lap before landing at Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport when it was hit by a stray bullet.
Officials believe that the passenger airliner was not deliberately attacked, and the airport was not attacked that day. Since terrorism and crime are ruled out as likely causes of the bullet hit, the most common version of — it was just a reckless or careless firing of a large-caliber firearm in the area surrounding the airport.
Local reporters note that holiday shooting into the air is a common occurrence throughout Lebanon, especially at weddings and funerals, and that this is the most likely source of the shot.
MEA Chairman Mohamad El-Hout noted that 7-8 planes parked at Beirut airport are hit by stray bullets every year. However, this is the first time that a mid-air aircraft has been shot down.
El-Hout demanded that lawmakers take measures to ensure that residents around the airport do not fire weapons into the air.
The bullet went through salon above seat 2F.