On Monday, a deceased stowaway was discovered in the wheel well of a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 777 (registered PH-BQM), which originated from Lagos, Nigeria. This discovery has raised questions about how and when the man was able to climb into the aircraft.
An investigation has been launched to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.
According to a spokesperson from the Royal Dutch Marechaussee, stowaway in wheel wells of aircraft face extreme temperatures that can drop to as low as minus fifty degrees during longer flights. This makes survival virtually impossible, and hypothermia is likely to be a contributing factor in this case.
“Sometimes they survive, but most of the time it goes wrong given the sharp drop in temperature. On longer flights, temperatures can go down to minus fifty degrees, impossible to survive,” the spokesperson said.
Despite the risks, some stowaways still attempt to use this method to travel without proper documentation or authorisation, often seeking a better life or escaping difficult situations in their home countries.
This discovery highlights the need for increased security measures and thorough inspections of aircraft before departure to prevent such incidents from occurring. Airlines and aviation authorities regularly review and update their security protocols to ensure the safety and security of passengers and crew onboard.