Thu Nov 14, 2019 London
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Fallen Security

That a man was able to stowaway in the landing gear of a plane in Nairobi and then fall from it into a Clapham garden is tragic; it highlights airline security is pathetic

News last night that the body of a man fell from the landing gear of a Kenya Airways plane smashed into the ground just feet away from a sunbather in Clapham on Sunday is truly shocking.

 

Of the incident, an unnamed neighbour told the Press Association: “I heard a ‘whomp.’ I went outside to look out of a window. At first I though it was a [homeless person] asleep in the garden. He had all his clothes on and everything. I had a closer look and saw there was blood all over the walls of the garden… 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 had landed one metre away from him.”

 

“I spoke to Heathrow airport this morning to ask if they were aware of this. If it had been two seconds later, he would have landed on the common where there were hundreds of people – my kids were in the garden 15 minutes before [he fell].”

 

“One of the reasons his body was so intact was because his body was an ice block.”

 

Surprisingly not the first time such has occurred in London – further incidents happened in 2012 in East Sheen and in 2015 in Richmond – that somebody was prepared to stowaway at temperatures of -60C in a compartment for 4,250 miles is indicative of how desperate some people truly can be to seek out a better life ‘Dick Whittington-style’ in a city whose streets simply are not paved with gold.

 

Surprisingly, according to an aviation expert named Alastair Rosenschein – who was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning – one in four that attempt such a journey having hidden themselves in the undercarriage of a long-haul flight actually complete their journey unharmed.

 

Rosenschein highlighted that the problem comes about because pilots only do a walk-around of their planes an hour before they takeoff and he went as far as to suggest that this should be done later. He also highlighted that since 1947 worldwide over 100 people have fallen in such a manner and here indeed is proof as to why airports and airlines should increase their security in this regard.

 

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