On Monday, a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 777 (registered PH-BQM) flying from Lagos, Nigeria discovered a deceased stowaway in the wheel well, prompting an investigation into how and when the individual was able to access the aircraft.
The tragic incident highlights the dangers of attempting to travel without proper documentation or authorization via this method, with temperatures dropping to as low as minus fifty degrees on longer flights, making survival nearly impossible. Despite the risks, some individuals still attempt to stow away in search of a better life or to escape difficult situations in their home countries.
The aviation industry continuously updates and reviews security protocols to ensure the safety of passengers and crew, and this discovery underscores the need for increased security measures and thorough inspections before departure. According to a spokesperson from the Royal Dutch Marechaussee, the extreme temperatures in the wheel wells of aircraft pose a significant threat, and hypothermia is likely to be a contributing factor in this case.