Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Stowaway dies after falling hundreds of metres into London garden

The frozen body missed a sunbather by barely a metre

Kenya Airways planes near Nairobi. Reuters
Kenya Airways planes near Nairobi. Reuters

A man has been found dead in a London garden after falling from the landing gear of a Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi on its final approach to Heathrow.

Witnesses said the frozen body, which fell some 1000 metres, missed a man sunbathing in his garden by barely a metre.

The body was found in Clapham, south London at about 3.40pm local time. If it had fallen only two seconds later it could have landed on the hugely popular Clapham Common, which one local resident said was packed out with hundreds of people.

"I heard a 'whomp' - I went upstairs to look out of a window. At first I though it was a tramp asleep in the garden. He had all of his clothes on and everything. I had a closer look and saw there was blood all over the walls of the garden,” a neighbour told the Press Association.

"His head was not in a good way. I realised immediately that he had fallen. So I went outside and it was just then the neighbour came out and he was very shaken. He had been sunbathing and he landed one metre away from him," the resident said.

Photos circulated on social media appeared to show the body had left a crater in the garden and smashed a slab of concrete.

Police said an examination would be carried out and they were not treating his death as suspicious.

"A bag, water and some food were discovered in the landing gear compartment once it landed at the airport," a metropolitan police statement said.

A spokesman for Kenya Airways said the 6,840km flight normally takes eight hours and 50 minutes.

"It is unfortunate that a person has lost his life by stowing aboard one of our aircraft and we express our condolences," the airline said.

"Kenya Airways is working closely with the relevant authorities in Nairobi and London as they fully investigate this case."

Monday's tragic incident is not the first of its kind. In 2015 one man was found on the roof of a south London building after he seemingly fell from a British Airways flight from Johannesburg to Heathrow.

In September 2012 another man perished after dropping over London on a flight bound for Heathrow from Angola.

Updated: July 2, 2019 05:05 PM