NCAA probes stowaway on Med-View Lagos-London flight

Med-View Airlines

Aviation authorities have launched an investigation into claims that a teenager survived 12 hours hidden in the wheel compartment of a Med-View plane between Lagos and London.

The boy, said to be aged 15 or under, was discovered in the wheel compartment of a Med-View Airline Boeing 747 which made the round trip last Saturday.

“We are looking into the incident to find how it happened and to prevent a recurrence,” General Manager, Public Relations of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, told AFP on Wednesday.

Mr Adurogboye said the authorities were “disturbed by the incident because of its implications for air safety”.

Med-View’s spokesman Oyibotha Obuke has said the airline was cooperating with the relevant authorities.

How the teenager survived at an altitude of 32,000 feet (9,754 metre) was a mystery, said Adurogboye.

Hypoxia or oxygen deficiency normally sets in from about 10,000 feet and would quickly render a person unconscious.

Temperatures at that altitude plunge to -48 degrees Celsius (-55 degrees Fahrenheit), causing hypothermia.

Harsh social and economic conditions in Nigeria are forcing many people to undergo risky journeys searching for greener pastures in Europe and the United States.

In March last year the body of a stowaway was discovered in the undercarriage of an Arik Air jet flying from Lagos to New York.

Another body was found on an Arik Air flight from Lagos when it landed in Johannesburg in November last year.

On the local scene, Daniel Ohikhena stowed from Benin to Lagos in the wheel well of Arik Flight W3 544 on August 24, 2013.