Cameroonian stowaway dies on Paris-bound flight

A Camair plane rests on the tarmac in Yaounde. PHOTO | FILE  FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

A man died after stowing away in the undercarriage of a France-bound plane from Cameroon.

A statement from Cameroon’s national carrier, Camair, on whose Boeing 767 the stowaway made the over 6-hour flight on Monday, said his lifeless body was found in the plane’s landing gear when it touched down at the Charles de Gaulle international airport in Paris.

It is still unclear where the man slipped into the plane which left Cameroon’s economic capital Douala for the capital Yaoundé from where it took off for France.

The airliner said it has opened a probe together with French and Cameroon security services to find out how the man, whose identity is not yet known, found himself in the landing gear compartment.

Camair said the man was in his thirties even though French media reported that French authorities said he looked like a teenager between 15 and 17 years old.

An autopsy was to be conducted on Tuesday to ascertain the cause of death, French media have reported.

On Monday the AFP quoted a French official close to the case as saying the stowaway could have frozen to death.
Each year thousands of young Cameroonians seek to leave the country, fleeing hardship.

In July 2002 a 34-year-old Cameroonian was found dead in the landing gear compartment of an Air France plane which flew into Paris from Rio de Janeiro.

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