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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 19:52 GMT
Body found in wheel well of plane
The BA flight came from Heathrow
A body discovered on a British Airways plane to the US is thought to be that of a Nigerian man, officials say.

The man, thought to be in his 30s, was found after the BA flight from Heathrow landed at New York's JFK airport.

It is thought the man climbed into the wheel well when the plane was in Lagos, Nigeria, on Christmas Eve.

There have been a number of incidents in recent years where immigrants have been found dead after attempting to hide in a plane's undercarriage.

The black male was discovered when the BA jet's first officer noticed a smell coming from the left wheel during a routine aircraft examination.

He was wearing only shoes and trousers, and had some Nigerian currency in his pocket.

The BA flight - BA 177 - left Heathrow at around 1330 GMT on Tuesday and landed in New York at about 1615 local time.

A BA spokesman said: "The body was discovered during refuelling and this led to the return flight - BA 174 - being delayed for a couple of hours.

"We are investigating just how the person got on board."

In the US, the FBI, New York Port Authority, Queens district attorney's office and Transportation Security Administration are conducting a joint investigation.

Last week, a man in his 20s was found dead in the wheel well of a plane to JFK from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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