Advertisement

Man who fell from Kenya Airways plane may be JKIA staff

Thursday July 04 2019
kq

A Kenya Airways plane during take off at Moi International Airport in Mombasa. The nan who fell from a KQ plane in London is thought to be an airport worker in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BONFACE OTIENO
By BBC

The fingerprints of a man whose body fell from a Kenya Airways plane into a garden in London have been sent to Nairobi amid suspicion he could be an employee at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The plane was flying from Nairobi to Heathrow when a body fell into the garden in south London's Clapham suburb on Sunday.

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) said Wednesday investigators were using the fingerprints to identify the body in an incident that has raised security concerns at JKIA.

A review of all CCTV coverage on flight KQ100 over the 24 hours before departure has been continuing, said the KAA, adding all staff who came into contact with the plane are also being questioned.

“We wish to reiterate that safety and security is our priority and the Multi-agency Security Committee will ensure that all our processes and procedures are adhered to,” said the airports manager.

“Due to the large amount of data to be analysed, we request for your patience to enable due diligence to be followed.”

Advertisement

A post-mortem examination would be carried out and the death was not being treated as suspicious, UK police said.

SHAKEN SUNBATHER

The body fell a metre away from a resident who had been sunbathing in the garden in south London's Clapham suburb, a neighbour said.

The neighbour, who did not want to be named, said he heard a "whomp" so he looked out of an upstairs window and saw the body and "blood all over the walls of the garden".

"So I went outside, and it was just then the neighbour came out and he was very shaken," he said.

The neighbour said a plane spotter, who had been following the flight on an plane tracking app from Clapham Common, had seen the body fall.

The plane spotter had arrived almost at the same time as the police and told them the body had fallen from a Kenya Airways flight.

Describing the victim, he said: "One of the reasons his body was so intact was because his body was an ice block."

MYSTERY MAN

Police believe the victim fell from the landing gear compartment of the plane - where a bag, water and some food were found when it landed.

Mr Kibe told BBC Africa that there was tight security at the JKIA.

It was unlikely that an outsider would have crossed the runway, and climbed into the plane without being noticed, he added.

"They do check every part of the airplane, including the undercarriage, the wheels, the brakes, the tyre condition, the wheel well that is above there. They inspect everything. So when those checks were being done, it is not likely that person was there, otherwise he would have been seen.

"So at which point the person gained access, that is the mystery," Mr Kibe said.

SECURITY CHECKS

The discovery of the stowaway who started his journey from the JKIA has raised questions about the effectiveness of security checks.

The airport is already under a state of heightened security largely responding to the threat posed by the militant group al-Shabaab, based in neighbouring Somalia.

A similar incident took place in 1997 when the body of a young man was found hanging in the nose-wheel bay of a British Airways flight from Nairobi after it landed at Gatwick Airport.

The KAA carries out security drills at the airport - most recently in November 2018.

SIMILAR DEATHS

It is not the first death of this kind on the Heathrow flight path.

In June 2015, one man was found dead on the roof of notonthehighstreet.com's headquarters in Richmond, west London, while another was found in a critical condition after they both  clung on to a British Airways flight from Johannesburg, South Africa.

In August 2012, a man's body was found in the undercarriage bay of a plane at Heathrow after a flight from Cape Town.

Advertisement