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Corpse discovered in wheel well of plane landing at DC airport

The incident mirrors that of a fictionalized case written by TV script writers.
The incident mirrors that of a fictionalized case written by TV script writers.

In a case of life mirroring TV fiction, the body of an unidentified man was discovered on Saturday afternoon within an Airbus' landing-gear wheel well of after the passenger airliner landed at Dulles International Airport just outside of Washington, D.C., according to former airport security chief and NYPD detective Benny Cardoza.

The airport's ground crew assigned to the French-built Airbus A340, which is flown by pilots from South African Airways, found the man's lifeless body in a remote parking area of Dulles International Airport,
according to officials from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

The plane arrived at Dulles on Thursday morning from Johannesburg, South Africa, after a stop in Dakar, Senegal.

The scenario of this Airbus case is reminiscent of a 2006 episode of the television drama, Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In the episode titled, "Watch," the TV detectives are called in when an unidentified body had been stored in the wheel well of a commercial flight from Europe but falls out when the landing gear is lowered.

Dulles International Airport's own police, fire and other emergency responders cordoned off the area and notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation's headquarters as well as members of the Homeland Security Department's Customs and Border Protection directorate.

Besides the first-responders, staff members from the Fairfax, Va., medical examiner's office arrived at the scene and told the news media that the homicide's investigation will be ongoing.

The incident had no impact on operations on airliners, runways, terminals, or parking facilities at Dulles Airport, an installation said to be one of America's busiest airports.

The A340 Airbus possesses significant cargo capacity and can accommodate up to 25 tons of cargo capacity and 10-14 full-sized pallet positions, according to its website.

While under the jurisdiction of Washington, D.C., authorities, the airport is actually located more than 20 miles away from the nation's capital.

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