The stowaway, who is believed to be a man from Guatemala, was turned over to US immigration officials and taken to hospital for evaluation after he arrived on the flight into Miami on Saturday.
The incident was confirmed by the US Customs and Border Protection agency in a statement, as reported by WTVJ, an NBC-affiliated television station based in Miami.
Video purported to show the man shortly after the plane had landed showed the stowaway seemingly unharmed as he is tended to by ground crew who offer him water.
In a statement, the US Customs and Border Protection agency said: “US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Miami International Airport apprehended a 26-year-old man who attempted to evade detection in the landing gear compartment of an aircraft arriving from Guatemala Saturday morning.”
“The individual was evaluated by emergency medical services and taken to a hospital for medical assessment,” the agency added. “This incident remains under investigation.”
American Airlines gave little detail as to the nature of the incident, the airline did confirm that its Flight 1182 from Guatemala City to Miami “was met by law enforcement due to a security issue.”
Immigration attorney Angel Leal told WTVJ the Guatemalan stowaway would be detained by CBP while facing an expedited removal order.
Since 1947, 129 people have attempted to stow away in the wheel wells or other areas of commercial aeroplanes, according to the FAA. The agency has also said that 100 of those died after succumbing to injuries or exposure.
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