Niger, Air France officials probe aircraft landing death

An Air France aircraft in a file photo. Niger officials are investigating the death of a man who fell of the airline's plane in Niamey.  

Niger and Air France officials are investigating the death of a young man who allegedly fell off the airline's passenger aircraft as it landed in Niamey.

Airport officials in Niamey said the young man’s body was found on Wednesday about 12 kilometres away from the tarmac.

Both Air France and Nigerien investigators at the airport said they had found blood stains on one of the wings of the plane.

They said the passenger must have climbed on the wheels of the plane and fallen off shortly before it's landing at the Niamey airport on Thursday morning.

Niger government spokesman Marou Amadu told reporters in Niamey on Friday that "it is unfortunately not the first time such an incident has occured here."

Air France spokesman Christopher Paumier said the aircraft would remain at the Niamey airport until the investigation is over.

Mr Paumier however confirmed that the deceased must have boarded the flight clandestinely during its transit in Ouagadougou.

All the 201 passengers on board the aircraft are expected to be flown to their final destination at the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport by late Friday.

A similar incident occurred in Senegal in 2007 when a young Senegalese man successfully hung on to the wheels of an Air France flight until it landed in Paris.

He was later sent home after hospitalisation in France but made another attempt that culminated in his death in Cote d’Ivoire two years later.

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