THE BODY of a stowaway has been found in the landing gear of a plane at Heathrow Airport.
A man believed to be Turkish and in his 30s was discovered in the British Airways Airbus A320 that flew from Istanbul to Terminal 5 yesterday.
Police were called by airport staff shortly after 11am and are trying to confirm his identity and trace relatives.
The airline said it will hold talks with authorities in Istanbul and officers from Scotland Yard as they investigate how the man managed to access the plane.
A spokesman said: “We are liaising with the Metropolitan Police after a body was found in the landing gear bay of one of our aircraft at Heathrow.
“They are investigating how this incident took place, which involved an Airbus A320 that arrived into Terminal 5 from Istanbul just before 11am on Thursday July 18.
“This is a very sad event and our thoughts are with the individual’s family.
“Our security measures with regard to unauthorised access to aircraft are focused on prevention and we review every airport we fly to on a regular basis.
“We will be liaising with the Istanbul authorities as they investigate how this incident took place.”
A post-mortem examination was due to take place at Uxbridge mortuary.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Police were called by Heathrow Airport staff at 11.10am on July 18 and informed of a possible body found in the undercarriage of a flight that had arrived shortly beforehand at Terminal 5.
“Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and located the body of a male who was pronounced dead at the scene.
“At this stage, officers believe the deceased is a Turkish national aged in his 30s. Attempts are now being made to confirm his identity and inform next of kin.”
This follows the death of another suspected stowaway, Jose Matada, 30, whose body fell from a plane on the Heathrow flight path in September last year.
The Mozambican was found in Portman Avenue, Mortlake, shortly after a flight from Luanda, Angola, passed over.