A teenage stowaway defied the odds to survive a 250-mile flight from London to the Netherlands – clinging on as the plane reached 19,000ft. The boy, 16, was found next to the landing gear of a plane which touched down at Maastricht Airport before being taken to hospital yesterday, reports say.
The youngster, thought to be Kenyan, was found on a flight from London Stansted and had severe hypothermia, according to Dutch News. The flight in question is thought to have been a Turkish Airlines cargo journey using an Airbus A330, reports My London – which came from Nairobi via Istanbul.
A spokesperson for Stansted Airport said the plane originally departed from Kenya to Turkey, then on to Stansted before heading to Maastricht. They added that there was nothing to suggest the teenager entered the plane in Britain.
The Dutch Royal Marechaussee – a police branch of the Netherlands’ armed forces – said on Twitter it would be investigating the possibility of human smuggling in connection with the stowaway. A spokesman for Maastricht Aachen Airport said the boy was fortunate to have survived the journey. He told Netherland News Live: “He had tremendous luck to get through this.”
Most stowaways hidden in the lower part of the wheel either freeze to death or fall from hiding places during flight.