Body of Kenya Airways stowaway found in London garden

The body of a man believed to be a stowaway on a Kenyan Airways flight was discovered in a back garden in south London on Sunday afternoon.

London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement that the man was believed to have fallen from the landing gear of the plane as it approached Heathrow Airport. A bag, water and some food were also discovered inside the leading gear compartment after the place landed.

Police are currently working to identify the man and a post-mortem is due to be carried out. The Kenya Airports authority said a joint investigation team had been created with authorities at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi in response to the incident. It added: "We wish to reiterate that safety and security is a priority at our airports and this incident is being treated with the seriousness it deserves."

Kenya Airways said the loss of life was "unfortunate", and expressed its condolences. “Kenya Airways is working closely with the relevant authorities in Nairobi and London as they fully investigate this case," the airline added. The flight from Nairobi to London takes just under 9 hours across 6,840km.

Although a rare occurrence, it has happened before. In September 2012, a 30-year-old man from Mozambique, Jose Matada, died after falling from the undercarriage of a flight approaching Heathrow from Angola. He is believed to have survived freezing temperatures of up to -60C (-76F) for most of the 12-hour flight, an inquest heard. But by the time he hit the ground he was "dead or nearly dead".

In 2015, the body of a man landed on a shop in Richmond, southwest London, after travelling in the undercarriage of a plane from Johannesburg.


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