In another reminder of the foolishness of stowing away on a commercial airliner, a man fell from the undercarriage of a Kenya Airways 787 and was found dead in a south London garden.
The man, who has not yet been identified beyond being Kenyan, was found in the Clapham area of London on Sunday. In an interesting twist, the man fell just three feet from a sunbather laying in his garden. The stowaway had become a frozen block of ice and caused substantial damage to the pavement (pictures here).
Police traced the body to Kenya Airways Flight 100, a 787 flight from Nairobi to London Heathrow. On that aircraft, a food, water, and a bag containing the man’s belongings were found in the aircraft’s landing-gear compartment. He was believed to have been an airport employee in Nairobi.
This is hardly the first instance of a stowaway attempt, but the sad commonality amongst similar narratives is that they usually end in death. The lack of oxygen and extreme cold at cruising altitude makes survival virtually impossible.
As the Associated Press noted:
Though not common, stowaways have in the past plunged to the streets of London as planes lowered their landing gear. In September 2012, a 30-year old from Mozambique, Jose Matada, died after falling from the undercarriage of a Heathrow-bound flight from Angola.
What a said story. What would drive someone to risk their life in that way? Was life that horrible in Kenya? Perhaps we will never know. But stowing away simply does not work. And had he been fallen at a slightly different angle, he may have killed another man in his path…
image: Nicky Boogaard / Flickr