Nairobi — An unidentified male fell off a Kenya Airways flight to London as it begun its descent to the Heathrow Airport on Sunday after a nine-hour flight from Nairobi in what preliminary police investigations have confirmed to be a stowing incident.
The man's body smashed into a garden in a residential property in Clapham, South London, at about 3.30pm local time on Sunday.
The stowaway is believed to have concealed himself in the plane's rear left landing gear well.
A bag, food and water believed to be his were discovered in the plane's landing gear compartment after authorities conducted a search on Kenya Airways' flight 100 having traced the spot where the body fell to the plane's flight path as it approached Heathrow.
The national carrier issued a statement on Monday describing the incident as unfortunate adding that it was working with the police who had reached out to the Kenya High Commission in London to offer assistance in identifying the body.
"The incident has been treated as a sudden death and is now a police matter. The police have already been in contact with the Kenya High Commission to help identify and name the person," a statement from Kenya Airways read.
"The aircraft was inspected, and no damage was reported. It was cleared for operation," the airline added.
The carrier said that it will remain in contact with authorities both in Nairobi and London "as they fully investigate this case".
The 6,840km flight to London takes 8 hours 50 minutes according to Kenya Airways.
The high altitude flown by planes on such routes would make it impossible for a person to survive with temperatures at cruising altitude getting a low as minus 56 °C and oxygen supply diminishing.
Stowaways often die due to freezing and lack of oxygen supply.
The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) also issued a statement Monday night on the incident.
"All the relevant security organs at JKIA have been informed; a joint investigation team has been constituted and is investigating the incident," KAA said.