AMSTERDAM, Police in the Dutch city of Amsterdam discovered a stowaway hidden in the nose wheel of a cargo plane arriving from South Africa, a spokeswoman said Sunday.
The unidentified man is believed to have slipped on board the plane before it left Johannesburg, Royal Dutch Military Police spokeswoman Joanne Helmonds said.
“The man was found alive in the nosewheel section of the plane and was taken to hospital in a stable condition,” she said.
The man was not identified, but officials said he is believed to be between 16 and 35 years old, news outlet reported.
Helmonds said police had opened a probe into the incident.
“It is quite remarkable that the man is still alive,” he said.
Flight times between Johannesburg and Amsterdam average about 11 hours.
Stowaways on flights to the Netherlands are rare, he added, noting that previous attempts had involved would-be migrants from Nigeria and Kenya.
Last year, border police discovered the body of a Nigerian man in the landing gear of a plane arriving at Schiphol airport.
A spokesperson for freight carrier Cargolux confirmed that the stowaway had been on a flight operated by Cargolux Italia.
“We are not in a position to make any further comment until the authorities and the airline have completed their investigation,” the spokesperson said.
According to flight data, the only Cargolux freight flight from Johannesburg to Schiphol on Sunday also stopped in Nairobi, Kenya. It is unclear whether the man boarded the plane in South Africa or Kenya.
When the plane landed, members of the airport ground spotted the man and immediately notified authorities. Dutch police and emergency services confirmed that the man was alive but had a low body temperature, Helmonds told news outlet.
The man was revived and stabilized at the airport and then taken to a hospital in Amsterdam, Helmonds said.
“When the man has recovered and cleared by the hospital, he will then be processed at the Asylum Seekers Centre where his status will be determined if he indeed is looking for asylum,” Helmonds told the news outlet.
Source: Nam News Network