Police release e-fit of stowaway who fell from plane into London garden as efforts to identify victim 'prove fruitless'

'This man has a family somewhere who need to know what has happened to their loved one,' detective says 

Chris Baynes
Friday 18 October 2019 12:39
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Police have released an e-fit image of a man whose body fell from a plane into a garden in Clapham
Police have released an e-fit image of a man whose body fell from a plane into a garden in Clapham

Police have released an e-fit image of a man who fell from a Kenya Airways flight into the garden of a house in southwest London, after efforts to identify his remains were unsuccessful.

Scotland Yard detectives also published photos of a bag found in the plane’s landing gear compartment, believed to contain the few possessions the victim carried with him as he attempted to reach the UK.

The stowaway’s frozen body fell from the aircraft as it approached Heathrow Airport after flying from Nairobi on 30 June this year.

He plunged more than 3,500 feet before landing in Offerton Road, Clapham, narrowly missing a man sunbathing in his back garden.

Metropolitan Police officers have been working with authorities in Kenya in a bid to identify the victim, thought to have been aged in his 30s, but said their efforts had so far “proved fruitless”.

Detective sergeant Paul Graves said: “We have pursued a number of lines of inquiry in what has been a very sad incident to investigate.

“This man has a family somewhere who need to know what has happened to their loved one.

“I hope by releasing this e-fit someone known to the deceased will recognise him and make contact.”

Detectives said the man’s bag, pictured with its contents, had “distinctive” lettering written on the strap

One line of inquiry had focused on whether the victim was a worker at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, with Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority suggesting it was “unlikely that an outsider” would have been able to breach security and hide in the plane’s landing gear compartment.

British police also sent the dead man’s fingerprints to authorities in Kenya.

Scotland Yard said officers “believe the man to be Kenyan but are keeping an open mind”.

The e-fit shows him in the blue top he had been wearing when he died, with a logo reading “Wildkat Softball” stitched into it. Police said his bag had the “distinctive” letters “MCA” written on the strap and contained a small amount of Kenyan currency.

The man’s body is being held at a London mortuary. His death is not being treated as suspicious and an inquest will be held after police close their investigation.

The victim is likely to have been exposed to temperatures as low as -63C during the flight, potentially bringing on hypothermia. Stowaways also risk being crushed by retracting landing gear and can be killed by oxygen deprivation in the unpressurised wheel well.

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