Child stowaway found dead in Air France flight

Tomas Del Coro

The body of a child was found in the landing gear well of an Air France flight between Paris and Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Air France confirmed that the body of a stowaway was discovered in the well of the landing gear of a Boeing 777 (F-GSQY). It was performing flight AF703 between Abidjan Airport (ABJ) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on January 7, 2020. 

“The company expresses its compassion and deplores this human drama,” said the airline on Twitter, adding that “an investigation is underway.”

“Beyond the human tragedy, this indicates a major security flaw at Abidjan airport,” an Ivorian security source said. The airport has yet to determine how a ten-year-old child accessed the airplane and if any accomplices helped him. 

In recent years, several stowaways, mostly from Africa, have been found dead from hypothermia or crushed in undercarriages. The landing gear wells are neither heated nor pressurized. In July 2019, a stowaway fell from the landing gear of a Kenya Airways flight to London Heathrow airport in the garden of a house in Clapham, south-west London.

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