Aviation

Body of aircraft stowaway found in garden after falling from Kenya Airways flight

The body of a stowaway has reportedly fallen from the sky near Heathrow Airport, London and landed in a garden next to a sunbather.

The Metropolitan Police Service told the media that officers had been called to a home in Clapham, south London, on Sunday local time after the man’s body was found.

“At this point, police believe the man was a stowaway and had fallen from the landing gear of an inbound Kenya Airways flight to Heathrow Airport,” police told ABC News in a statement.

“A bag, water and some food were discovered in the landing gear compartment once it landed at the airport.”

The body of the man, which fell with enough force to dent paving slabs, landed metres from a sunbather.
The body of the man, which fell with enough force to dent paving slabs, landed metres from a sunbather.

Speaking to the BBC, a neighbour, who asked not to remain anonymous, said the man fell a metre away from another resident who had been sunbathing in the garden.

He recalled hearing a “whomp”, before discovering “blood all over the walls of the garden”.

“So I went outside, and it was just then the neighbour came out and he was very shaken,” the man said.

The neighbour said the body was intact after it fell because it was essentially an “iceblock”.

In a statement, Kenya Airways reportedly described the incident as “unfortunate” and said it would work closely with authorities in Nairobi and London as they investigated the case.

“The 6,840km (4,250-mile) flight takes eight hours and 50 minutes. It is unfortunate that a person has lost his life by stowing aboard one of our aircraft and we express our condolences.

“Kenya Airways is working closely with the relevant authorities in Nairobi and London as they fully investigate this case,” a spokesperson for the airline told the BBC. 

But this isn’t the first time that a body has been found after falling from aircraft: Bodies have previously been found on the streets of the Richmond and Kew areas of London – in the vicinity of Clapham – which lie below the point at which many jets reportedly open their landing gear doors on approach to Heathrow Airport.

Experts said the chances of a stowaway managing to avoid being crushed by the wheels as they retracted after take-off or frozen to death during the flight was very small, as reported by ABC News.

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