Man Found Dead In London Suburbs Was Plane Stowaway

Coroners have confirmed the body of a man found dead in the suburbs of London was almost certainly a stowaway hiding inside the landing gear of a British Airways flight from Angola.

The Guardian is reporting José Matada was either dead or nearly dead due to hypothermia and lack of oxygen when he fell out of a plane as it opened its undercarriage for descent into London Heathrow Airport last September. Matada, who is believed to have been seeking a better life in Europe, had a single pound coin in his pocket, as well as currency from Botswana. Also in his pocket was a sim card, which investigators used to identify him.

In case you are weighing your options, sneaking into the undercarriage of planes comes with a low survival rate. In fact, a recent BBC article noted that from 1947 until September 2012, there were 96 known stowaway attempts that resulted in 73 deaths.

[Photo credit: Flickr user David Reese]