Reactions continue to trail the discovery of a stowaway found dead in the wheel of a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 777 (registered PH-BQM) flight from Lagos.
The discovery of the deceased on Monday, yet-to-be-identified has sparked questions over the state of security in the country’s airports and how he got into the aircraft which took off from Lagos without being noticed.
The General Manager of the Public Relations Department of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Sam Adurogboye said, “On our part, we will continue to strengthen our oversight over the service providers with a view to putting an end to issues like these”.
He further said, “All incidences are being investigated and the outcome will determine the next line of action.”
A spokesperson from the Royal Dutch Marechaussee, Major Robert van Kapel, made known that stowaways in wheel wells of aircraft face extreme temperatures, “sometimes, they survive, but most of the time it goes wrong, given the sharp drop in temperature. On longer flights, temperatures can go down to minus 50 degrees, which makes it impossible to survive”, he said.
The deceased was believed to have died from hypothermia.
Cases like these are often reported despite the huge risk, stowaways use this method to travel to avoid the stress and rejection of getting proper documentation and authorisation, all for the search for ‘greener pastures’.
Reacting to the development, a Twitter user @Adeniyi17827561 noted, “Why risking it all for survival? We should know better now that the % of survival at -50°C is less than 1%. There is still hope in this country. This is a great loss to the family and the country”.
Another user, @harryofido said, “When Japa goes sideways! Nigerians, you cannot survive the tyre compartments of a plane, there’s not enough space, and even if there’s, once the plane reaches a high altitude, you will lose air. Stop trying to japa like this”.
Juliet Onwurah/Adetutu Adetule