Frozen body of Kenya Airways flight stowaway lands feet from man sunbathing in Clapham garden mid-afternoon

The frozen body of a suspected stowaway fell from a jet approaching Heathrow, into a garden in Offerton Road, Clapham – close to a man sunbathing in his back garden, in the afternoon. The man is understood to have fallen from the landing gear of a Kenya Airways flight to Heathrow.  A plane spotter, who had been following the flight on a tracking app from Clapham Common, had seen the body fall, so knew it was from a Kenyan Airways flight.  A witness said the body was largely intact as it was frozen solid. It had fallen with enough impact to dent the grass. The problem lies with in adequate airport security, at airports like Nairobi, so stowaways get get themselves into the wheel arch. The question was raised whether, with the lax security, someone could equally insert a bomb, to be dropped later (eg. over London). There have been other cases of bodies falling from planes, as they approach Heathrow. Stowaways are generally dead before hitting the ground, due either to being crushed by the wheels when they are retracted on take-off, or lack of oxygen on the flight, or extreme cold (as cold as -50 C or more) at high altitude. Many are potential migrants, misguidedly hoping for a better life in the UK – unaware of the dangers of stowing away. 


Plane stowaway’s body lands feet from man sunbathing in his London garden

2.7.2019 (Telegraph)

The body of a suspected stowaway that fell from a jet hit the ground just a few feet from a man sunbathing in his back garden.

Police were called to an address in Clapham, south London, by shocked residents at 3.39pm on Sunday.

Officers believe the body to be that of a male and he is understood to have fallen from the landing gear of a Kenya Airways flight as it prepared to land at Heathrow Airport.

The body fell into the garden of a £2million property only feet from a tenant who had been enjoying the sunshine.

A local resident said: “I heard a ‘whomp’ – I went upstairs to look out of a window. At first, I thought it was a tramp asleep in the garden.

“He had all of his clothes on and everything. I had a closer look and saw there was blood all over the walls of the garden.

“I realised immediately that he had fallen. So I went outside and it was just then the neighbour came out and he was very shaken.”

The neighbour, who asked not to be named, said that a plane spotter, who had been following the flight on a 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 Kenyan Airways flight.

He said: “I spoke to Heathrow Airport this morning to ask if they were aware of this.

“If it had been two seconds later, he would have landed on the common where there were hundreds of people – my kids were in the garden 15 minutes before [he fell].

“I spoke to Heathrow. They said this happens once every five years.”

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

He added: “The investigation is with Nairobi Airport. If someone can climb up into the wheel arch then someone can put up a bomb up there and let it off over London.”

Another resident said she had heard a thump, but thought it was falling scaffolding from nearby building works. Referring to her neighbours, she said: “My heart goes out to them, they’re going to have to live with that for the rest of their lives.”

The Met Police said a bag, water and some food were discovered in the landing gear compartment of the plane when it arrived at the airport.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course, the force said, and the age of the individual has yet to be determined. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Inquiries are being conducted with the Met’s southern central command unit and its aviation policing command.

The Met said it would be liaising with the African airline and international authorities.

In 2012, Jose Matada, 26, from Mozambique, died after falling from the Heathrow-bound flight from Angola.

His body was found on the pavement of Portman Avenue, in south-west London and West London Coroner’s Court heard the stowaway may have been dead before he hit the ground either because he had been crushed by the retracting landing gear shortly after the plane took off, or because of the extreme cold at high altitude.

A woman who he had been in contact with via text messages said that Mr Matada “desired to travel to Europe for a better life”.



See other examples of bodies and other objects falling from planes, approaching airports, especially Heathrow (which has most long-haul flights, from countries from which people might want to travel as stowaways):

Cases of objects, including human stowaways, falling from planes

A stowaway plunged to his death from a British Airways plane onto an office block near Richmond. Another stowaway survived the trip and receiving hospital treatment. The plane was a 747 on an 11 hour flight from Johannesburg. The spot where the man fell was just a few hundred metres from Kew Gardens.  Around three quarters of plane stowaways are killed by the cold or the landing gear during flights.  Earlier this year a coroner’s court heard how a Turkish man froze to death in July 2013 when he climbed into the undercariage of a BA jet from Istanbul to Heathrow. In September 2012, a stowaway from Mozambique fell to the ground in a suburban street in Mortlake.  A Pakistani stow away who fell from a plane, presumably as the undercarriage came down, over Richmond in July 2001. Data from 2012 indicated that since records began in 1947, 96 wheel well stowaways are thought to have attempted to board 85 flights. Of those 73 of those stowaways died and 23 survived.  More information about objects falling from planes at




Kew ice block fall – 7th February 2018.

Amazing film of ice block falling very near someone…

Block of ice from a plane smashes onto a road in Kew, captured by a taxi firm camera. No more than 25 feet from a street cleaner and a pedestrian, and perhaps 18 seconds before a car goes past.