A dead man was discovered in the wheel well of a KLM flight KL588 that arrived at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, from Lagos, Nigeria, on Monday (17 April). The man is assumed to have climbed into the aircraft at the Lagos international airport.
The incident which is not new has raised serious security concerns about how and when the man was able to climb into the aircraft in Lagos. An investigation has been launched to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident, according to a report by Aviation24.be, an aviation news site.
The discovery of this deceased stowaway from Lagos highlights the need for increased security measures and thorough inspections of aircraft before departure to prevent such incidents from occurring, Aviation24 said. Airlines and aviation authorities regularly review and update their security protocols to ensure the safety and security of passengers and crew onboard.
Stowaways in wheel wells of aircraft face extreme temperatures that can drop to as low as minus fifty degrees during longer flights, the aviation news site said. A stowaway loses consciousness and suffers hypothermia. This makes survival virtually impossible. The bodies of stowaways would have been frozen and still have frost at the time they are found. Hypothermia is suspected to have caused the death of the latest stowaway from Lagos.
Despite the risks of death, some stowaways still attempt to use this method to travel without proper documentation, seeking a better life or escaping difficult situations in their home countries. Every now and then someone manages to survive. For example, a stowaway was found in the nose wheel of a cargo aircraft that operated a flight between South Africa and Amsterdam in January 2022. The man was found in relative good health.