By Debbie White | The Sun |
The body of a male stowaway has landed in the garden of a South London home after falling from the underside of a Kenya Airways flight.
The gruesome discovery was made at a property in Offerton Road, Clapham, at around 3.40pm yesterday and police have now launched an investigation.
It is believed the man fell from from the landing gear compartment of the plane shortly before the flight was due to land at Heathrow Airport.
A bag, water and food were later found in the landing gear compartment by police.
Kenya Airways said: “It is unfortunate that a person has lost his life by stowing aboard one of our aircraft and we express our condolences.”
The 6,840km flight from Nairobi to Heathrow “takes eight hours and 50 minutes,” it added.
In a statement, the Met confirmed: “Police believe the man was a stowaway and had fallen from the landing gear of an inbound Kenya Airways flight to Heathrow Airport.
“A bag, water and some food were discovered in the landing gear compartment once it landed at the airport.”
The Met Police said that “officers are working to establish the identity of a man believed to have fallen from the landing gear compartment of an aeroplane”.
Police were called at 3.39pm on Sunday, June 30, to a residential address in Offerton Road, Clapham, after the body was discovered in a garden.
MAN’S IDENTITY NOT KNOWN
Officers attended with paramedics from the London Ambulance Service.
The Met said that the age of the victim, “believed to be a man”, was not as yet known.
However a post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course.
Police are working to establish the man’s identity, and a crime scene was put in place but has since been closed.
The death is not being treated as suspicious, the Met said.
Citizen Digital said that after discovering the stowaway’s body, the London property owner called cops, who used a flight tracker to determine that the man had fallen from Kenya Airways KQ 100.
The airline said: “The incident has been treated as a sudden death and is now a police matter.
“The [Met] police have already been in contact with the Kenya High Commission to help identify and name the person.”
LACK OF OXYGEN
The aircraft has apparently already been cleared for operation after being inspected at Heathrow, and no damage was reported, says Citizen Digital.
Met Police enquiries are continuing, led by the South Central Command Unit and the Met’s Aviation Policing Command.
Officers will be liaising with the airline and international authorities.
News agency, the Associated Press, explains that stowing away is exceptionally dangerous.
Experts believe that about three-quarters of stowaways don’t survive because of the extreme cold and lack of oxygen as the plane reaches cruising altitude.
Though not common, stowaways have in the past plunged to the streets of London as planes lowered their landing gear.
In September 2012, Jose Matada, a 30-year-old from Mozambique, died after plummeting from the undercarriage of a Heathrow-bound flight from Angola.
Matada’s remains were found in Mortlake, Richmond upon Thames, but he had no identity papers on him, and no-one had reported the man missing.
His shocked mum hadn’t realised he had died until his family noticed a story in their local paper, as they’d assumed he was still working as a housekeeper in South Africa.