Incredibly, Stowaway Survives From Africa to Europe in Plane Wheel Hold

Incredibly, Stowaway Survives From Africa to Europe in Plane Wheel Hold

Authorities at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport reported discovering a stowaway in the front wheel part of a plane flying from South Africa who miraculously survived the 11-hour flight in risky conditions. The plane flying from Johannesburg to the Netherlands and make a stop in Nairobi, Kenya; it believed he boarded the jet. The 22-year-old man considers himself fortunate to be alive. While he is not the first person to survive a perilous ride in the wheel compartment, the danger is extremely high. Bodies in commercial aircraft cabins are exposed to temperatures of -51°C (-60°F) due to a lack of insulation and pressurization.

As if that were not enough, atmospheric pressure at that altitude is about a third to a quarter of what it is at sea level. This might easily result in hypoxia or a lack of oxygen. There are many horror stories about this kind of risk not working out. As a jet approached Heathrow Airport in 2019, the frozen body of a victim of such a fatal combo dropped onto a garden in London. Dutch border guard on the spot treated the stowaway, who had sought asylum. They were able to increase his body temperature to safe levels on the spot, check that he was conscious, and ask him a few questions.

After that, he had taken to a hospital. The Dutch authorities are now investigating the man’s exact origins and whether this case of migrant smuggling. According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, 126 persons have attempted to stow away aboard an airliner since 1947, with 77 percent dying in the attempt. The true figures will almost certainly be far higher.

Over the last few decades, political rhetoric about the predicament of migrants has been predominantly and increasingly anti-immigration, particularly in the West. The number of immigrants and refugees will not diminish as the climate problem worsens, natural disasters become more frequent, violence becomes more common, and political turmoil becomes more common. Quite the opposite is true. 

The stowaway’s survival was described as a “miracle” by aviation reporter Richard Schuurman. “No one leaves home until home is the maw of a shark,” wrote Warsan Shire, an award-winning British poet, about the experience of Somali refugees arriving in Europe; sobering words to explain the desperation that may drive someone to embark on such a voyage.