17 February 2014

South Africa: SAA Investigating Body Found On Aircraft

An investigation has been launched following the discovery of a body on board a South African Airways (SAA) aircraft in the United States.

"A human body was found in the centre gear wheel well section of flight SA 207 which operated on 12 February 2014 from Johannesburg to Washington DC via Dakar in Senegal," said SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali on Sunday.

The airline has initiated an internal investigation into the matter.

Tlali said once the plane arrived at the Dulles International Airport in Washington DC, it was discovered that there was a fault with the landing gear of the aircraft A340-300 and the aircraft had to receive attention.

It led to SAA dispatching its engineers and technicians to the US to identify the cause and to fix the fault on the aircraft.

While they conducted tests on the aircraft, SAA engineers discovered a body in the centre wheel well.

"Neither the identity nor the nationality of the deceased has been determined," said Tlali, adding that the national carrier will offer its full cooperation to US authorities in an effort to ensure that a thorough investigation into the incident is carried out as expeditiously as possible.

"We regret any loss of human life and are deeply concerned about the suspicious circumstances surrounding this incident and for that reason we have initiated an SAA internal investigation into the whole matter," Tlali said.

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