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Police can't identify man who fell from sky

united kingdom heathrow airport no identification papers angolan

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#1 Hum

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 18:35

LONDON (AP) — Police believe he was from Africa, probably from Angola, but they don't know his identity.

The mystery began in September when residents of a suburban street in the Mortlake neighborhood of West London woke up on a quiet Sunday morning to find the crumpled body of a black man on the sidewalk of Portman Avenue, near a convenience store, an upscale lingerie shop and a storefront offering Chinese medical cures.

Detectives believed at first the man was a murder victim and cordoned off the area. Within a day, however, police concluded the man — probably already dead — had fallen to the ground when a jet passing overhead lowered its landing gear as it neared the runway at nearby Heathrow Airport.

The apparent stowaway had no identification papers — just some currency from Angola, leading police to surmise that he was from that African nation, especially as inquiries showed that a plane from Angola was beginning its descent into Heathrow at about that time.

The macabre explanation made perfect sense to residents, who are familiar not only with the roar of the jets descending, but are also able to see the planes lower their landing gears as they pass overhead, said Catherine Lambert, who lives a few doors down from the spot where the man landed.

"You could see him, his body was contorted," she said. "It was a beautiful blue day, really sunny, but we had to keep the children inside. I didn't want the children to see, and to have to explain to them and put fear into them every time a plane goes over."

A post mortem conducted two days after the body landed listed the cause of death as "multiple injuries."

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#2 +Chicane-UK

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 18:45

Unless they pressurise and heat the under-carriage compartment, then the person would have died hours before anyway. 36,000ft, temperatures of -40 centigrade and barely any oxygen aren't conducive to life really! Not sure these poor souls realise what they're letting themselves in for when they stow-away in the undercarriage compartment - must be a pretty horrendous way to go :(

#3 *RedBull*

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 19:05

And the Darwin of the year of Award goes to.....(what's left of the guy in the article above).

#4 Guth

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 19:13

I saw a documentary about this, poor people trying to get our of their countries have resorted to hiding in the undercarriage where the landing wheels are. They climb up inside and there is room for a human once they are up. However, its very very unlikely you will survive due to the extreme cold.
However, the docu spoke to a few people who did actually manage to survive shorter flights.

Feel so sorry for them that their country is so bad even think about this never mind actually trying it.

#5 McKay

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 19:17

Extra points for determination.

#6 LaP

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 20:41

Well can't blame the man for trying ...

#7 webeagle12

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 20:47

Flight Simulator X: Achievement Unlocked

#8 Growled

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 23:17

And the Darwin of the year of Award goes to.....(what's left of the guy in the article above).


He's certainly one of the top contenders.

#9 *RedBull*

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 00:01

Well can't blame the man for trying ...

Yes you can. Illegal immigration is illegal. And if he were a legal immigrant, he was committing a crime.
this problem is evident in the case of a boy 17yr old having climbed into the wheel well of a plane at the airfield in at an Augusta, GA airport. The boy fell out shortly after takeoff and was killed. The parents sued the airport for negligence. I don't know the outcome but it's not a stretch to understand they didn't win.

#10 Growled

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 00:49

I still feel bad for him, though. That's a rough way to die.