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Frozen corpse found on BA jet parked at Heathrow

July 24, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The frozen corpse of a man has been discovered in the undercarriage of a British Airways plane at London Heathrow airport.

The suspected stowaway has been identified as a Turk aged in his 30s. His body was found in the landing-gear bay, sometimes called the wheel well, on a flight from Istanbul that arrived at Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

Attempts are being made to confirm his identity and inform his family.

BA will consult with airport authorities in Istanbul to find how the man was able to reach and board the Airbus A320.

Any stowaway reaching an aircraft has security implications. If a stowaway can reach and board an aircraft undetected, so could a saboteur or terrorist.

The grim discovery on the BA flight came after the corpse of suspected stowaway Jose Matada, 30, was found in a West London street after plummeting out of a flight from Angola in September, just before it landed at Heathrow. Matada, a Mozambican national, is thought to have sneaked aboard the plane in a bid to enter Britain illegally.

Just a few weeks ago, the body of a stowaway was found in the wheel well of a Russian passenger jet – and authorities said it had made several flights unnoticed. The man had probably frozen to death on the first flight, they said.

Sadly, aircraft stowaways are nothing new, and almost all die. A few stowaways survive in wheel wells or cargo holds, if the flight is not long and the plane does not climb too high.

Written by Peter Needham

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