Dead stowaway discovered on Nigerian plane in South Africa
A dead body was found on Wednesday in the wheel well of a Nigerian plane after it landed in South Africa, the airline said in a statement.
The body was found on a plane operated by Arik Air, one of Nigeria’s largest airlines, that had departed from the country’s commercial hub of Lagos and landed at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport Tuesday evening.
“The lifeless body of a stowaway was on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 found in the main wheel well of one of Arik Air’s A330-200 aircraft,” Arik Air spokesman Adebanji Ola said in a statement.
South African engineers “discovered the body of the stowaway during inspection,” the statement said.
“Investigations are ongoing to determine how the stowaway found his way into the aircraft’s main wheel well.”
In the past five years there have been reports of dead Nigerian stowaways found in planes travelling from Lagos to Johannesburg and New York who have frozen to death or have been crushed by a wheel.
Dire economic conditions force Nigerians to embark on risky trips in search of better lives abroad, with many attempting the dangerous Mediterranean crossing to Europe.
Nigerians have also been among the hundreds of illegal migrants intercepted off the Red Sea coast of oil-rich Saudi Arabia this year.