The French authorities reported the discovery of an unidentified man concealed in the landing gear compartment of a commercial aircraft arriving in Paris from Algeria. Despite severe hypothermia, the man was found alive, marking a fortunate outcome.
The man, who was reported to be in his 20s, was discovered during technical checks by the officials after the Air Algerie flight – which had departed from Oran, Algeria – landed at Orly airport in Paris in midmorning on Thursday (Dec 28), said prosecutors.
The man, who was not carrying any identification proof, was admitted to the hospital in serious condition, said the officials. As per an airport source, it was reported that the man “was alive but in a life-threatening condition because of severe hypothermia”.
Commercial aircraft, after the take-off, cruise at 30,000 to 40,000ft altitude where there is a decline in temperatures by nearly -50 degrees Celsius (-58 Fahrenheit) and survival becomes unlikely due to lack of oxygen in the landing gear compartment which is neither pressurised nor heated.
As per the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data, between 1947 and 2021, 132 people – who were known as wheel-well stowaways in the industry – tried to travel in the commercial aircraft’s landing gear compartments.
In April, a man’s body was found in an aircraft’s landing gear in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The flight had earlier taken off from Nigeria and had landed in Toronto earlier, which was a stopover.