A man snuck into the cargo plane’s wheel section and miraculously made it through an 11-hour flight from South Africa to the Netherlands.
According to accounts, the stowaway was concealed in the nose wheel area for the duration of the flight and was discovered conscious by Dutch officials when the jet arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Sunday morning.
According to a Schiphol airport official and police, the individual has been hiding in the wheel compartment since the jet left Johannesburg. He is thought to be between the ages of 16 and 35.
“We learned that a person was found having stowed away on a cargo plane at the airport’s cargo platform,” Schiphol Airport spokeswoman, Willemeike Koster, told CNN.
The individual was ‘doing well under the circumstances,’ according to the Dutch military police. He just had a low body temperature, which was stabilised before he was sent to the hospital for an examination.
The man was able to answer basic questions before an ambulance arrived at the airport, according to Dutch network NOS.
“We were surprised upon finding this man but even more surprised at him being alive after the plane flew over 10,000 [kilometers] in very, very cold temperatures,” said Dutch Military Police spokeswoman, Joanne Helmonds.
The man will be processed at the Refuge Seekers Centre (AZC), where professionals will decide whether he truly need asylum.
Due to low oxygen levels and high altitude temperatures, stowaways have a difficult time surviving. That is why the Dutch military police were caught off guard.
“It is quite remarkable that the man is still alive,” said Joanne Helmonds.
The flight in question departed from Johannesburg, South Africa, and arrived in Nairobi, Kenya. However, it is unknown how he gained access to the cargo plane’s wheel area, which is operated by Cargolux Italia.