'His Body Was an Ice Block:' Stowaway Falls from Kenya Airways Plane, Plummets Into London Garden
A stowaway fell from a Kenya Airways plane flying over London on Sunday and crashed into a residential garden just feet away from a man sunbathing in the area, reports say.
The unidentified man fell from the undercarriage of Kenya Airways flight KQ 100 as it flew over South London around 3:40 p.m. local time after a long flight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, according to London’s Metropolitan Police and Kenya Airports Authority.
“A bag, water and some food were discovered in the landing gear compartment once it landed at the airport,” Metro Police said in a statement, noting that the plane was headed to London’s Heathrow Airport.
Police were called to a home on Offerton Road in Clapham that afternoon. Authorities are working to determine the man’s identity and the death is not being treated as suspicious, they said.
One neighbor told the U.K.’s Press Association that they heard a “whomp” as the body hit the ground, CNN reported.
“He had all of his clothes on an everything,” the neighbor said. “I had a closer look and saw there was blood all over the walls of the garden.”
A photo of the scene showed a prominent dent in the sidewalk where the man fell. The neighbor said the body landed just three feet away from where a man was sunbathing, according to the BBC.
“So I went outside, and it was just then the neighbor came out and he was very shaken,” the neighbor said, suggesting that the man may have already been dead when he fell. “One of the reasons his body was so intact was because his body was an ice block.”
“If it had been two seconds later, he would have landed on the common where there were hundreds of people — my kids were in the garden 15 minutes before [he landed],” the neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, told the BBC.
A Kenya Airways spokesman told the BBC that the company is cooperating with authorities in Nairobi and London. The spokesman said the flight from Nairobi to London is about 4,250 miles and takes almost nine hours.
“It is unfortunate that a person has lost his life by stowing aboard one of our aircraft and we express our condolences,” the airline said, according to the BBC.
In 2015, a stowaway fell on a roof near Heathrow after boarding a British Airways plane from Johannesburg, the BBC reported. Another man found hiding in the undercarriage was taken to a hospital with injuries.
In 2012, authorities found a man’s body in the undercarriage of a plane following a flight from Cape Town, South Africa, to Heathrow.
Many stowaways die during flights due to freezing temperatures and lack of oxygen in the undercarriage of the aircrafts flying at high altitudes, according to CBS News.
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