How body of plane stowaway ended up in a Clapham garden

The man landed just 3ft from sunbather after falling from sky

A Kenya Airlines plane
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

A suspected stowaway fell 3,500ft from a plane and landed in a London garden where an unsuspecting resident was sunbathing, police and airline officials have revealed.

Investigators are trying to identify the dead man, who plummeted from a Kenya Airways jet as it passed over Clapham on Sunday afternoon.

A local resident told how he went out and saw the body in his neighbour’s garden after hearing a “whomp”. The frozen corpse was intact and had “all of his clothes on and everything”, but there was “blood all over the walls of the garden”, the neighbour, who did not wish to be named, told The Sun.

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How did the body end up in a London garden?

The dead man is believed to have fallen from the landing gear bay of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner as the plane approached Heathrow Airport at the end of a nine-hour flight from Nairobi, reports The Independent. The aircraft was at an altitude of around 3,500ft (1,067 metres) and travelling at 200mph at the time.

A bag, water and food were later found in the stowaway compartment of the plane.

The sunbather, in his 20s, was dozing in the garden of his rented south London house when the body landed just 3ft from him, leaving a crater in the lawn.

The neighbour told The Sun that the body was like “an ice block”.

The tenant’s brother added: “It was a narrow miss. The garden isn’t very big. There was more than a lot of blood. It wasn’t pretty and caused a significant amount of damage.”

The Metropolitan Police say the death is “not being treated as suspicious”.

However, it remains unclear whether the stowaway was killed by the impact or died during the flight due to a lack of oxygen and freezing temperatures. A post-mortem examination will be carried out.

How common are stowaway deaths?

“Although a rare occurrence, it has happened before,” reports Sky News.

In 2015, a man’s body landed on a shop in the southwest London district of Richmond after falling from the undercarriage of a plane from Johannesburg.

Three years earlier, a 30-year-old man from Mozambique died after plummeting from a Heathrow-bound flight from Angola. He is believed to have survived the freezing temperatures for most of the 12-hour flight.

“There have been rare cases where stowaways have survived, but in the main they lose consciousness because of a lack of oxygen and hypothermia and then they fall when the wheels go down,” a source told The Sun.

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