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Wednesday, 21 February, 2001, 07:29 GMT
Stowaway dies over the Atlantic
Gatwick Airport
The stowaway was wearing a Gatwick Airport uniform
A man found dead in the wheel arch of a passenger jet at San Francisco may have been arrested days earlier at London's Gatwick airport.

The body of a young man wearing Gatwick ground crew overalls was discovered beneath a US Airways plane by a mechanic checking a possible hydraulic leak.

The plane had flown to San Francisco from Gatwick, via Pittsburgh.

A man matching the stowaway's description had been arrested at Gatwick on Sunday for breaching airport security.


It seems as if these people have no idea of the consequences of climbing onto a plane, which flies at 35,000 feet and at minus 40C

Pc Kevin Clark
Sussex police are expected to fax the fingerprints of this man to US police.

They confirmed that no airport staff are missing.

PC Kevin Clark said: "We arrested a young Afro-Caribbean man at Gatwick on Sunday for breaching security.

"The man found on the jet matches his description so it could be the same one."

'Quite unusual'

He said it was "quite unusual" for people to try and get out of the UK.

"Most try to get in. It seems as if these people have no idea of the consequences of climbing onto a plane, which flies at 35,000 feet and at -40C. Most people would realise it was a hopeless situation."

The body was found at 0500 GMT on Tuesday in a centre wheel well in a space just six metres by 4.5 metres.

A US Airways spokesman said they were co-operating with the police.

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See also:

28 Dec 00 | Americas
UK plane stowaways were Cuban
23 Aug 99 | Americas
Body found on plane from Cuba
04 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Stowaways freeze to death
05 Aug 00 | Americas
747 stowaway survives Pacific flight
21 Feb 01 | Americas
Stowaway dies over the Atlantic
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