MOSCOW, June 6 (RIA Novosti) – The body of a man has been found in the wheel well of an airliner which arrived at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport from Italy, a police spokesman said on Thursday.
The I Fly airline's Airbus A330, which departed from Rimini, landed at Vnukovo at around 1:00 a.m. (21:00 GMT) on Thursday.
During an inspection, technicians discovered the body of a “dark-skinned man” after spotting “blood stains” on the landing gear, a spokesman said.
The man “froze to death during the flight,” a spokesman for the Moscow branch of the Russian Investigation Committee’s transport department said.
A Georgian passport was discovered during a search of the man’s clothes, investigators said. The dead man was not on the passenger list, airport sources said.
Russia's aviation watchdog Rosaviatsia said it plans to make enquiries with Italy’s aviation authorities over the incident.
“After maintenance is completed, the plane will again receive permission to fly,” a spokesman said.
The director general of Rimini’s Federico Fellini Airport, Claudio Fiume, said on Thursday the man could not have got inside the wheel well of an airliner, as only staff with a license to carry out a technical inspection have access.
Fiume said there are no such staff members at Rimini airport and no technical inspection had been carried out there. He said the man could have got into the plane before it left Moscow for Italy on an earlier flight.
Similar incidents have happened before in several countries, including Russia. In April, The Guardian reported that a man found dead in central London had probably fallen from an airliner heading into Heathrow airport when it lowered its undercarriage.
Stow-away “passengers” hiding outside an aircraft’s pressurized cabin have little chance of survival as the outside air temperature falls as low as minus 50 Celsius at high altitude, and they would also die from anoxia.
Updates with details in para 4, 5, 8-11.