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Wednesday, 4 October, 2000, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Stowaways freeze to death

Officials at Frankfurt airport have revealed that two Pakistani stowaways froze to death in the undercarriage of a cargo plane, after sneaking on board in Malaysia.

The men were clad only in T-shirts and trousers when they smuggled themselves on to the Lufthansa flight, which left Penang International Airport for Frankfurt in Germany in the early hours of Friday.

Lufthansa tail
One of the men was found dead at Frankfurt airport
The body of one of the men was found at Frankfurt later the same day, hanging onto a rear tyre, the officials said.

The other was found on Saturday at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, where the plane had made a transit stop.

The body had fallen from the aircraft as the wheels were lowered for landing and was found on the approach to the runway.

Inquiry

The men are thought to have frozen to death when the plane climbed to an altitude of 10,000m where temperatures can drop to -50 degrees C.

Malaysian airport officials are now investigating how the men, both airport contract workers, managed to get on the plane.

The round flight originated at Frankfurt and stopped at Madras in India, Penang and Sharjah before returning to Germany.

Mazlan Ayub, a police chief in Penang, said the pair may have thought the plane was calling at Madras on its return flight and were hoping to go home from there.

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