Suspected stowaway found dead on London roof | News | DW | 19.06.2015
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Suspected stowaway found dead on London roof

The body of a man has been found on a roof under the flight path to London's Heathrow Airport. Another man, found in the undercarriage of a British Airways plane, is in critical condition.

The body was discovered on the roof of an office building in Richmond, in south-west London, and is believed to be that of a stowaway who fell from a British Airways (BA) flight. The building is in the flight path to Heathrow Airport.

Police are trying to work out of he was on the same flight as another 24-year-old man who was found in the undercarriage of a BA plane en route to London from Johannesburg, South Africa - a distance of about 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles).

A police statement said it was "one line of enquiry into identifying the deceased and the circumstances of his death."

Police said the surviving man had been found about an hour earlier. He is between 25 and 30 years old and in critical condition in a London hospital.

A British Airways spokeswoman said the airline is cooperating with police in Britain and authorities in South Africa in this "very rare incident."

Hiding in the wheel well of a plane exposes travelers to freezing temperatures and a lack of oxygen due to the high altitude at which the aircraft flies. Survival is unlikely, as stowaways can also be crushed by the wheels that are released or retracted during take-off and landing.

Last April, a 16-year-old teenager survived in the wheel well of a plane from California to Hawaii.

Bodies have previously been found in the street in the Richmond and Kew areas of London which are below the point at which many jets open their landing gear doors to put the wheels down on the Heathrow approach.

ng/sms (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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