Body of plane stowaway landed in London garden 'one metre from sunbather'

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery

The body of a suspected stowaway believed to have fallen from a jet landed in a south London garden just one metre away from a sunbather.

Police were called to an address in Offerton Road in Clapham at 3.39pm on Sunday following the discovery.

It is thought the body – believed to be that of a man – fell from the landing gear of a Kenya Airways flight as it prepared to land at Heathrow Airport.

A bag, water and some food were discovered in the landing gear compartment of the plane when it arrived at the airport, the Met Police said.

The man is believed to have stowed away in the landing gear of the Kenya Airways plane. Credit: PA

A neighbour tells ITV News what he heard: "I must confess I heard a bang but heard nothing more of it."

He added: "The owner of the property who was sunbathing at the time is obviously absolutely shocked."

A neighbour describes how he heard a loud bang on Offerton Road. Credit: ITV News

A next-door neighbour also said the man fell just a metre from a resident while he was sunbathing in his garden.

He said: "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 [the body] had all of his clothes on and everything.

"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."

  • How did the passenger get from the Kenya airways flight KQ100 to Offerton Road in London?

A post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course, the force said, and the age of the individual has yet to be determined.

Experts have said it's almost impossible to survive the dangers of hiding inside the landing gear compartment.

Peter Archer, who's an Aviation Expert said: "You might think there is lots of room but as the plane lifts off the wheel and the undercarriage arm is going to be going at 100mph.

"As you go up the air gets colder and thinner the flight like that, -50 degrees or so, 20,000 ft or so, there's not enough oxygen for breathing."

Aviation Expert Peter Archer describes the dangers of hiding inside landing gear equipment to Neil Connery. Credit: ITV News

Inquiries are being conducted with the Met’s southern central command unit and its aviation policing command.

The Met Police said it would be liaising with the airline and international authorities.

The neighbour said that a plane spotter who had been following the flight on an app from Clapham Common had seen the body fall.

The plane spotter had arrived almost at the same time as the police and told them it had been a Kenyan Airways flight.

The flight was en-route to Heathrow. Credit: PA

In 2012, Jose Matada fell to his death from a British Airways flight inbound from Angola.

Mr Matada, originally from Mozambique, was found on the pavement in East Sheen on September 9.

An inquest into his death heard he is believed to have survived freezing temperatures of up to minus 60C for most of the 12-hour flight.

But he was understood to be "dead or nearly dead" by the time he hit the ground.

In 2015, the body of a man landed on a shop in Richmond having clung on in the undercarriage of a plane from Johannesburg in South Africa to Heathrow.