Man froze to death inside undercarriage of TUI plane at Gatwick Airport

A man froze to death in the undercarriage of a plane at Gatwick airport, it has been heard by an inquest.

The December 7 discovery led police to launch an inquest into the tragedy on the TUI plane.

The unnamed victim was found dead upon arrival at the airport following the flight, where flight temperatures into the UK can reach as low as -60C.

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A post-mortem confirmed the man passed away from hypothermia.

The man was found aboard a flight from the Gambian capital of Banjul to London.

The flight takes between seven and nine hours and normally requires a stop in between.

Direct flights are rare between the two cities, however, Africa News reports it takes around six hours.

No details, not even a date of birth, have been found in relation to the man.

The operation to work out the man’s identity is ongoing and is a joint collaboration between both Sussex police and Gambian authorities.

A full inquest will take place in Chichester on May 24.

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Coroner Joanne Andrews said: “I am satisfied the death was unnatural and there will be an inquest.”

Speaking on the tragedy Ebrima Sankareh, a spokesperson for the Gambian government, said: “According to the information, the deceased black male was found within the wheel bay of the aircraft without identification documents to establish his name, age, nationality or travel itinerary.

“It is, therefore, not clear at this stage, who he is.”

A statement from Sussex Police said: “Police were called after the body of a man was found in the undercarriage of an aircraft at Gatwick Airport, arriving from Gambia, at about 4am on December 7.

“Officers are investigating and a report will be prepared for HM Coroner.”

Stowaways on planes are not unheard of. In January 2022 a man was found to have survived an 11-hour flight from South Africa stowed away in the landing gear of a jumbo jet.

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