Stowaway plunges to death,another survives on flight to London

Stowaway plunges to death,another survives on flight to London

In a bizarre incident, a stowaway who is believed to have clung on to a British Airways plane from Johannesburg has fallen to his death over a London store, while a second man remains critical in the hospital after miraculously surviving the nearly 13,000 km journey.

The two men, from South Africa, are believed to have been clinging to a British Airways (BA) flight from Johannesburg to Heathrow Airport in London.

The man who died was found on the building of online shop in Richmond yesterday.
Scotland Yard said his death was being treated as unexplained.

The man who was injured, remains in critical condition.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: "At this time there is no evidence to link the death to the discovery of a stowaway in the undercarriage of a plane at Heathrow Airport; however this is one line of enquiry into identifying the deceased and the circumstances of his death."

The surviving man, who is believed to be aged 24, was found in the undercarriage of the plane and taken to a west London hospital.

Officers believe they know his identity but are awaiting for confirmation.

The 12,875 km journey from South Africa to the UK usually takes about 11 hours.
In a statement, British Airways said: "We are working with the Metropolitan Police and the authorities in Johannesburg to establish the facts surrounding this very rare case."

A post-mortem examination will be carried out on the dead man, who has not yet been identified.

Police said enquiries are ongoing into how long his body had been on the roof.
Incidents like these have been reported earlier as well when stowaways have plunged to their deaths in the streets of west London after smuggling themselves on to planes.

They hide themselves in the landing gear where they are exposed to the elements and have to endure plummeting temperatures. Most are killed by the cold and lack of oxygen at high altitudes.

In September 2012, Jose Matada, 26, died after falling from the undercarriage of a Heathrow-bound flight from Angola on to a quiet street in Mortlake, west London.

In July 2013, a suspected stowaway from Turkey was found frozen to death in the undercarriage of a BA jet from Istanbul to Heathrow.

He died after facing temperatures of minus 60C during the four-hour flight.

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