Man falls from plane over London after 11 hours flight

British Airways Boeing 777-200 taking off at Heathrow, 27 July 2009 (Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

A stowaway who is believed to have hidden in the undercarriage of a plane flying from Johannesburg in South Africa to London’s Heathrow Airport has fallen to his death just minutes before landing, while his surviving companion is in hospital.

The two men are believed to have been clinging to a British Airways flight from South Africa to the UK on an about 10,000km (estimated) journey that lasted about 11 hours.

The victim fell onto the roof of a gift shop in Richmond, south-west London, which was below the flight path.

The plane would have been flying at an altitude of around 400 meters when it passed over the area.

 BBC quoted police as saying the man’s death was being treated as unexplained.

The second man, who is believed to be aged 24, is found unconscious in the undercarriage after the plane landed and taken to a west London hospital in a serious condition.

Temperatures during the flight would fall as low as minus 50-70 degrees Celsius at the cruising altitude.

British Airways said it was working with British and South African authorities to establish the facts “surrounding this very rare case”.