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Miraculous Survival: Man Found Alive in Plane's Landing Gear after Flight from Algeria to Paris

Published December 29, 2023
7 months ago

In an incredible turn of events following an Air Algerie flight from Oran, Algeria to Paris, a young man's life hung in the balance after he was found barely alive in the aircraft's landing gear compartment. Upon arrival at Paris's Orly airport, the individual, presumed to be in his 20s, was discovered during routine technical checks conducted by airport staff.

Enduring freezing temperatures and low oxygen levels typically found at cruising altitudes of 30,000 to 40,000 feet, the unnamed man was found to be in a life-threatening condition with severe hypothermia. According to aviation standards, the conditions he faced during the flight would have been difficult for anyone to survive, given that the landing gear of a commercial aircraft is neither heated nor pressurised.

An airport source confessed to the man being alive but underscored the critical nature of his condition due to the extreme cold he had been exposed to. He was immediately transported to a hospital where he remains in serious condition. Remarkably, the man had no identification on him at the time of the rescue.

This incident calls attention to the perilous journeys embarked upon by individuals known within the aviation industry as wheel-well stowaways. Such occurrences, while rare, are not unheard of. Data from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reveals that from 1947 to 2021, there have been 132 known attempts by individuals trying to conceal themselves within the landing gear compartments of commercial aircraft.

Recent incidents highlight the global nature of this phenomenon. In April of the current year, the body of a man was located in the landing gear of a plane in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, following a flight from Toronto with an initial departure in Nigeria. Additionally, there were two fatalities reported in the space of landing gear after a flight that took off from Santiago de Chile and arrived in Bogota.

One particularly harrowing incident took place in July 2019 when the frozen body of a man descended into a garden in a suburb of London, presumably after traveling in the landing gear compartment of a Kenya Airways flight descending towards Heathrow airport.

According to the FAA, the mortality rate for those attempting such an arduous means of travel stands at an alarming 77 percent. This statistic, coupled with these distressing instances, serves as a testament to the desperate lengths individuals may go to seek new opportunities, often risking their lives in the process.

As airport and airline authorities work to better secure aircrafts to prevent stowaway attempts, this miraculous yet tragic event has sparked further discussion around the urgent need for bolstering aviation security and revisiting humanitarian outreach and immigration policies.

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