Kenya Airways stowaway “likely” to have been employee at Nairobi airport

Kenya Airways Boeing 777-200ER
Kenya Airways Boeing 777-200ER (5Y-KYZ) taking off from London Heathrow Airport. Photo: Adrian Pingstone (Phone used under the Creative Commons licence)

The stowaway whose body fell from a Kenya Airways plane into a London garden is likely to have been an employee at Nairobi’s main airport, a Kenyan official has said.

As the plane was nearing the end of its journey into Heathrow from the Kenyan capital on Sunday, the body of the man landed a metre away from a resident who had been sunbathing in the garden in south London’s Clapham suburb.

Speaking to BBC Africa, Director General of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Gilbert Kibe, said: “Whoever it is most likely had access to the airside.

“With the way security is tight, it’s unlikely that an outsider would have been able to make his way through to the airside where an aeroplane is parked and be able to climb in.”

The Sun have quoted an airport source who told them: “It looks highly likely he was an employee because security has been beefed up and no one without a pass could get near a plane.

“He could have been a baggage handler or one of a number of staff given airside clearance.

“It’s possible that he could have bribed someone to get inside the perimeter but this seems unlikely and the CCTV will hold the key.

“Investigators say cameras cover every inch of the area around aircraft and they will be able to locate him on footage.”

The Metropolitan Police have sent the stowaway’s fingerprints to Nairobi for analysis and the Kenyan Airports Authority is interrogating all staff who came into contact with the plane.

Police were also probing a theory that the stowaway may have landed the airport job as part of a plan to sneak into the UK.

However, with the temperature at cruising altitude of around 35,000ft being around -56.5C, he had virtually no chance of survival. He would have frozen solid  in the uninsulated space around the Boeing 787s landing gear and plunging oxygen levels in the thin air would also have caused him to pass out before the freezing air chilled him to the bone.

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