Mr. Baldock is sunbathing while sleeping in his backyard in south London, UK. All of a sudden, a body falls just a meter away from him. His neighbor hears a thump, but doesn’t know what has caused the noise. Therefore, he goes upstairs to look out of a window.
Initially, he thinks a tramp is sleeping in de garden. But when he has a closer look, he sees blood all over the garden walls. It appears to be the body of a stowaway that has fallen from a Kenya Airways Boeing 787 (Dreamliner).
Small wonder that Mr. Baldock is very shaken, according to his neighbor. Fortunately, he is not physically hurt, but the garden isn’t very large and it was a near miss. Given the shock he leaves London to stay with his parents in Exeter.
Body as an ice block
The stowaway had probably hidden himself in the landing gear. But when the gear was put down, he has fallen out. A neighbor says: “If it had been 2 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 fell.” And he adds: “One of the reasons his body was so intact is because his body was an ice block.”
-60 degrees Celsius
On inspecting the aircraft police find a bag containing food and clothing at the rear left landing gear. But it seems unlikely that the stowaway could survive at an altitude of 40,000f for 9 hours, starved of oxygen and with temperatures of around -60 degrees Celsius (-76 Fahrenheit).
Thus, it seems that the stowaway was already dead when he fell from the plane and landed in the backyard. The risks for stowaways are obvious. The fact they take the risk anyway clearly illustrates how desperate they are.
It occurs every 5 years
Yet, a neighbor says that he spoke to people from Heathrow Airport and they say this happens once every 5 years. If that is true it suggests that security checks at the airport of Nairobi, where the flight originated, are not strict enough.
Tags: stowaway, landing gear, London Heathrow, Kenia Airways