A stowaway on a TUI flight that departed from Banjul was found dead under the wheel section of the tourist plane at London Gatwick Airport.

The Gambia government has confirmed the incident and said it is working with the British authorities to determine the man’s identity.

“It is with profound shock and sadness that the Gambia Government received today, information from the Sussex Metropolitan Police in The UK of a dead male found on TUI flight, No. BY225 from Banjul to London, Gatwick on 5th December, 2022,” the government spokesman Ebrima G Sankareh said.

According to him, the deceased black male was found within the wheel bay of the aircraft without identification documents to establish his name, age, nationality or travel itinerary.

“It is, therefore, not clear at this stage, who he is; whether Gambian or non-Gambian en route to another destination.

“The body was removed from the aircraft and taken to Worthing Hospital where finger prints and DNA samples were taken for purposes of proper identification.

“While awaiting further information from the UK Police, The Gambia Government will not only collaborate with the UK Police but will continue its own investigations into this unfortunate situation and will surely, update the public accordingly,” he added.

The incident is the latest of a series of stowaways from Africa who travel in the non-pressurized wheel well of passenger jets, many of whom do not survive the brutally cold temperatures and lack of oxygen.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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