Kenya Airways stowaway 'may have been airport employee'

A stowaway whose body plummeted into a Clapham back garden after travelling thousands of miles in a plane's landing gear may have been an airport worker, a Kenyan official has said.

Police were called to Offerton Road in Clapham on Sunday when the frozen body narrowly missed a sunbather after it plunged from a Kenya Airways flight.

On Wednesday, director general of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Gilbert Kibe, told BBC Africa: "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 frozen body landed in a back garden on Offerton Road in Clapham. Credit: PA

"I'm suspecting it's probably somebody who had access to the airside."

He said the captain or first officer would normally walk around the plane and check the undercarriage thoroughly before take-off.

Asked about security concerns the breach raised, he said: "That problem exists globally everywhere, it cannot be isolated to one airport."

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

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

Aviation expert Peter Archer 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.

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

"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."

Nairobi residents have blamed a lack of security and work opportunities for the dangerous decisions some end up taking.

A lawyer in the city called it "quite sad" that young people "have to hide and put themselves through dangerous situations just so that they can evade the country".

Kevin Githare went on: "(It) just goes to show how much of a problem we have in terms of unemployment, how much of a problem we have in terms of capital and revenue generation and incomes."

Details of the 4,250 mile journey:

Businessman Abdulaziz Omar claimed the reason people try to escape countries via such dangerous means is due in part to a "security lapse in the area".

He said the other reason is that "Kenyans are desperate to be abroad" and "it is time the government should tackle such issues in a manner that will benefit all Kenyans because Kenyans are suffering".

It has been reported by Kenyan media that British police sent the dead man's fingerprints to authorities there to try to identify him however no names have been released.