Believed To Be From Africa, Stowaway In Airliner Wheel Well
Authorities are still searching for the identity of a man who they believe fell from the wheel well of an airliner as it lowered its landing gear on approach to Heathrow airport in London September 9th.
Detectives say that the man was likely from Angola in Africa. His body was found lying on the ground early one Sunday morning near some shops in the Mortlake neighborhood of West London. Thinking he might have been a murder victim the area was cordoned off, but police detectives later concluded that it was more likely he dropped out of the sky as an airliner passed overhead.
The Associated Press reports that they only thing the man had in his possession was some Angolan currency. An investigation revealed that a plane was arriving from Angola about the time the man was thought to have landed on the sidewalk.
The cause of death was listed as "multiple injuries." It was not known if he was killed by the retracting landing gear, or the extreme conditions in the unpressurized wheel well during the flight. Authorities are holding the body in the hopes that he can be identified and returned to his home country for burial.
(E-FIT image (Electronic Facial Identification Technique) provided by the Metropolitan Police on Dec. 7, 2012 shows a computer-based face of a man whom British police are trying to identify after his body was found near London’s Heathrow Airport.)